Ibadan – The Oyo State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Environment, Urban Development and Physical Planning to sanction Churches and Mosques that flout the Noise Pollution Law.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Michael Adeyemo (APC/Ibarapa-East), gave the directive at the plenary on Tuesday. Mr Isaac Ishola, the Commissioner in charge of the ministry and his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, had appeared before the House. The House had on Feb. 16, summoned the two commissioners over incessant noise pollution in the state.
The speaker, who said he was impressed with the ministry’s efforts to curb noise pollution, urged it to take serious action against people who attacked the enforcement officers. “Those guilty of such must be duly prosecuted and jailed; this should not be taken with levity.
“How will they perform their jobs effectively, if they cannot enjoy the protection of the state,” he said. Adeyemo said that since all avenues of dialogue and sensitization had been explored but failed, the ministry should implement the laws by sanctioning and closing down any erring place of worship.
“ If you have invited a church since January, 2016 and it refused to honour the invitation and another one signed an undertaking since February, 2016 and has not complied, then seal them.
“If some are complying and others are not, you are giving room for impunity,’’ the speaker said. Ishola had earlier told the lawmakers at the plenary that Churches and Mosques contributed 70 per cent of noise pollution within Ibadan metropolis.
He said that noise from the social gatherings only accounted for 10 per cent.
“The telecommunications companies are not left out; they contribute about 10 per cent, while vehicular noise and generator noise constitute three and five per cent respectively,” he said. Ishola said that in spite of the stakeholders’ meetings with various representatives, the menace of noise pollution still persisted in the area.
According to him, the ministry’s officials that go out to enforce the Environmental Laws are either attacked physically or verbally threatened.
Ishola said the defaulters that were invited to the ministry failed to honour the invitation. Arulogun, on his part, told the lawmakers that the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism had engaged in door-to-door enlightenment to sensitise people on the dangers of noise pollution.