#BounceExclusive: Religious Houses, Bars Disregard Lagos Noise Ban
Adededji Olugbenro lives with his wife and three children in the Egbeda area of Lagos state.
He moved into the area two years ago. Since then, his peace has always come with a price.
Adjacent his residence is a church with a 20-member congregation, beside it is a mosque while few metres away is a music store with giant speakers.
Adedeji hardly sleeps well at home particularly on Fridays because the church adjacent keeps vigil.
He is woken as early as 5am by the call to prayer from the mosque while the ground shaking sound dished out from the giant speakers owned by the music store few metres away sums up the rest of the day.
He goes to work feeling dizzy and unproductive due to lack of sleep.
Adedeji is one of the numerous residents affected by the increasing noise pollution in the emerging Mega City.
A music store with two giant speakers
In 2016, over 70 churches, 20 mosques and about 11 hotels, club houses and beer parlours were shut down by the state government in a move aimed at reducing noise.
Five months ago, the Lagos State government banned live band music at beer parlours restaurants and food joints.
General Manager, Lagos State Environment Protection Agency, LASEPA, Adebola Shabi, said that the decision on noise pollution came on the heels of increasing rate of petitions by residents.
He said, "The residents complained about the frequent disturbance from the beer parlours, club houses and religious houses.
"Noise is always regarded as an unwelcome guest in the society, especially in schools, hospitals, offices, conferences, stakeholders’ meeting and every formal public gathering.
"In 2015 alone, there were over 1527 reported cases of noise pollution in Lagos state, with 57 of those resulting in medical concerns.
"As a result of this, live bands will no longer be able to operate at bars, clubs and beer parlours due to the noise concerns while religious houses were directed to procure sound proof finishing, in order to minimise the effect of noise generated in their neighbourhood through various speakers mounted outside walls of their churches and mosques".
When Bounce News visited some communities in Lagos State, it was observed that most religious houses, bars and music stores have not adhered to the directive.
Despite the ban, most churches and mosques visited had megaphones attached to their buildings while bars and music stores had heavy sound systems strategically positioned around their premises.
A pastor of one of the Pentecostal churches in Akowonjo, Shasha road, who spoke to Bounce News, said that he was not aware of such directive.
He said, "I'm not aware any directive from LASEPA to that effect. I run my church with the fear of God and the residents in the area have never complained to me of any disturbance. In fact most of them are my members."
Kazeem, a music store manager, whose giant speakers were dishing out earth thumping sounds that could wake the dead also claims ignorance of the state's directive.
He said he has been operating the music store for the past three years and no one has ever asked him to stop playing his music.
"Bros, when I start to play my gbedu(music), both adults and kids start dancing. I'm more or less like a 'doctor' to them, as I help them to forget their sorrows free of charge", he said.
Bayo Anjorin, who lives few metres away from where Kazeem operates his music store, however, debunked Kazeem's claims.
He said, "Kazeem has been warned severally to turn down the volume of his speakers but to no avail.
"I know a number of times residents have complained about the noise that comes from his store but he always bluntly refuses".
Effort to speak to LASEPA General Manager, Adebola Shabi, was unsuccessful as he was not answering his phone.
The question remains - 'Will Lagos ever be rid of noise'?
ALSO WATCH: LASEPA GM, Adebola Shabi explaining the ban