Weeks after the Lagos State Government made moves to criminalize drilling of boreholes without permit across the state and the eventual protests that followed, the government has made another announcement on the development.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Information and obtained by InsideMainland, the government stated that it has not authorized any staff or agent to close down any borehole in any part of the state.
“The Lagos State Government has assured homeowners using boreholes that it has not authorised any staff or agent to close down any borehole. The general public is hereby advised to report any such person to the nearest police station or dial 767/122,” the statement reads.
This development is coming at a time that major stakeholders, groups and residents across the state have protested the move by the government to criminalize and charge fees for drilling of boreholes in houses and other public places and for commercial purposes without a permit.
Recall that in February 2018, the Lagos House of Assembly passed “A Bill for a Law to Consolidate all Laws Relating to the Environment for the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Environment in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes” into law.
The Bill was passed less than two weeks after activists and environmentalists challenged its key sections at a public hearing.
The legislation specifically criminalizes sale or distribution of water by container, tanker, or any other method without a valid license issued by the Department of Water Resources.
The bill, passed by the state House of Assembly, is yet to be signed into law by Governor Akinwumi Ambode.
The government says it targets commercial users, but activists fear the ban may affect private citizens, who struggle daily to get water through individual effort.