Commissioner for the Environment, Lagos State, Nigeria
Building a Reform Team and Staff
Building a reform team, Lagos state, environmental protection, climate change, waste management, refuse disposal
Mon Jul 27 2009
Muiz Banire discusses the reforms he implemented as Commissioner for the Environment in Lagos State as well as other government posts. Among his major advances was the execution of systematic refuse disposal. Banire hopes to improve this system even further by recycling more of Lagos’s waste. He explains that a major element of the successful reforms was educating people on the rules and alternatives to problematic behaviors. Additionally, communicating the individual benefits of alternative practices helped spread change. Banire found that interpersonal communication was the most effective method of delivering his messages. In this interview, he explains how his department prioritized their various goals, picking achievable targets despite the large quantities of improvements they sought. Banire operated at the local government level, setting up offices within Lagos State’s local governments. In four of the twenty local governments, he established zero-tolerance offices to reduce environmental nuisances. He also describes international initiatives to address climate change, including West Africa’s first International Summit. The reforms incorporated the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government, and Banire talks about the legal process of setting up these reforms. He also describes his human resource management and how he worked with his staff. Banire stresses that he found a role for everyone. Overall, Banire says his work as Commissioner of the Environment increased the number of jobs in Lagos State.
At the time of this interview, Dr. Muiz Banire was Commissioner for the Environment in Lagos State, Nigeria, a position he had held since 2007. Having been in government since the late 1990s, he had previously served as Commissioner for Special Duties in the governor’s office and Commissioner for Transportation of Lagos State. Prior to that, he had practiced law and taught law at the University of Lagos. He holds a doctorate degree in Property Law from the University of Lagos. He is the author of several publications, including numerous articles: The Nigerian Law of Trusts (2002) and co-author of The Blue Book 2004: Practical Approach to the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004.