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Lagos threatens to blacklist consultants, pushes for standard in materials testing laboratories

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Dr Dolapo Fasawe

Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), has charged accredited consultants to be more professional in their conduct to tackle environmental challenges confronting the state.

The professionals were also advised to prepare and submit environmental reports that are genuine, with authentic data, which reflects and conform to the true use of the environment by their clients.

LASEPA General Manager, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, made the plea the plea during a mandatory virtual masterclass for LASEPA accredited environmental consultants. She warned that any consultant, who fails to comply with its guidelines, would not only be disaccredited but also penalised for unprofessional conduct.

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Speaking on “The ideal and Best Practices of Environmental Consulting in the 21st century,” Fasawe observed that consultants are relevant stakeholders that can either make or mar the agency’s quest of realising its mandate of protecting and managing the fragile ecosystem.

She appealed to them to perform their duties with patriotism as government relies on information to formulate policies that safeguard the environment.

A renowned professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science, University of Lagos, Babajide Alo, emphasised that accredited environmental consultants must protect interest of all without bias.

According to him, reports by the experts are taken based on informed regulations, legal context, knowledge and technology, which should aligned with laws and regulations.

Alo said they should also assess existing operations and create unique plans to reach environmental-related goals. He berated unethical action such as tampering, fabricating and replacing data, use of unverified data, submission of false or inaccurate reports and seeking gratification from the public.

Contributing, the Chief Operating Officer, Environwatch Consulting Limited, Oyenike Shobowale, harped on transparency and balance in preparing credible environmental reports.

MEANWHILE, the General Manager, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMT), Olufunsho Elulade, has appealed to private laboratory owners to make sure their results are up to date and meet up with world best standard.

Elulade stated this during his first meeting with private laboratory owners upon assumption of duty at the agency’s headquarters in Ojodu Berger. He said an approved test report template would be established so that test reports could be harmonised in the state.

He said it is now compulsory for all material testing laboratories to get their test reports approved by the agency before sending it out to clients to stamp out quackery in the industry.

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According to him, “as new technology evolves everyday, it is important to establish new standards to conform with present realities.”

He hinted that there would be a stakeholders’ conference which will be a hybrid of virtual and physical presence.

The General Manager said the agency will carry out sting operations, whereby unscheduled visits will be paid to private laboratories as part of its monitoring and enforcement activities.

In response, one of the private laboratory owners, Kazeem Oluwa, said the association is looking forward to a cordial working relationship with the helmsman.

Elulade also appreciated the team for turning up for the meeting and solicited for their cooperation in order to move the agency forward.

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