At least 22 religious establishments have been shut down by authorities in Lagos over noise pollution after a litany of complaints over noisy worship.

Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) said it received 700 petitions over noise pollution across the state in the last two weeks. Concerned citizens have been complaining on a daily basis about noise pollution mostly from religious houses and firms, New Telegraph reported.

The authorities also closed down bars and strip clubs for noise pollution while a number of pharmaceutical companies were shut down for discharging effluent into the public drains.

The agency’s general manager, Ademola Shabi, said the government needed to effectively regulate the sprawling religious buildings before the situation got out of control. According to Shabi, Lagos has over 6,000 religious houses. A 2012 Gallup International survey about religiosity and atheism states that Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in the world.

Commenting on the mushrooming religious establishments, Shabi said, “I think the unemployment in the country is contributing to the problem,” and “in the next five years, if there is no stringent policy on the siting of religious houses, there will be problem,”.

The churches would be allowed to reopen after paying fines starting at 50,000 naira ($250)

Source: New Telegraph