The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to regulate swimming pool operations in the state through the ‘Lagos State Safety Commission (Public Swimming Pools) Regulations 2014,’ which would consider it an offence to operate swimming pool service without permission.
The content of the regulation was examined by stakeholders at a meeting called by the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Special Duties last week at the Assembly premises.
In his speech, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by the Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade, said it was necessary for the state to regulate swimming pool operations as a megacity that would soon become a smart city.
A stakeholder, who is also the Secretary/Legal Assistant of the Commission, Mrs. Omotola Sanusi, disclosed that the commission has made some additions into the regulation, which includes, no swimmer should enter the pool with an open wound and that there should no swimming without a lifeguard on duty.
Another stakeholder, Mrs. Folarin Adeola, a legal officer from the state Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, advised that it should be included in the regulations that first aid box should be placed at the side of any swimming pool.
Adeola also suggested that the penalty of N20, 000 for any individual that runs foul of the regulations was too meager, advising that it should be increased.
The Director General/CEO of the Commission, Mr. Hakeem Dickson disclosed that the Seventh Assembly had initially stepped down the regulation in 2013 because some things were missing in it.
Dickson said: “I have to push for this, though it was drafted by my predecessor. We want zero tolerance of unnecessary injury and death, zero fatality and casualty around our swimming pools. We don’t want people to just die just like that in our swimming pool, so we want to know why.
“The owner of the swimming pools should be able to put enough awareness and enough on signage and every other things necessary around swimming pools that people can see,” he said.
Speaking with newsmen, Hakeem Olusola Sokunle, acting Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relation said, “This regulation has to do with safety around our swimming pools in Lagos State.
“Since we know Lagos State is moving from Mega City to Smart City, we should be able to have a regulation that will regulate all the swimming pools in Lagos State.”
According to him, the regulation, if passed by the House, will allow issuance of Compliance Certificate to swimming pools’ operators in the state to reduce the swimming pool-related casualties.
He said that the bill prescribed penalties for non- compliance in the administration of swimming pools.