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L-R: Sector Commander, FRSC, Ogun State, Corps Commander Clement Oladele; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; and Head, Policy, Research and Statistics, FRSC, Assistant Corps Marshall Kayode Olagunju during the investiture of Rt. Hon. Obasa as a Special Marshall by the FRSC in Lagos at the weekend.

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L-R: Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Head, Policy, Research and Statistics, FRSC, Assistant Corps Marshall Kayode Olagunju; National Coordinator, Special Marshall, FRSC, Dr Sini Kwabe; Sector Commander, FRSC, Lagos, Corps Commander Hyginus U Omeje.

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L-R: Head, Policy, Research and Statistics, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Assistant Corps Marshall Kayode Olagunju, Ph.D; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; and National Coordinator, Special Marshall, Dr Sini Kwabe.

Lagos Assembly Constitutes Committee on Bad State Of Government Owned Estates

The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a 7-man committee on the bad state of government-owned estates spread across the state.

According to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Committee is to be headed by the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Housing, Hon. Ibrahim Layode, Badagry 1 and they are to report back to the House in two weeks.

Members of the committee include Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Mushin 1, Hon. Idimogu Jude, Oshodi-Isolo 2, Hon. Noheem Adams, Eti-Osa1, Hon. Abiodun Tobun Epe 1, Hon. Oladipupo Olorunrinu, Amuwo Odofin 1 and Hon. Rasheed Makinde, Ifako-Ijaiye 2.

The committee was set up in reaction to a Motion moved by some lawmakers in the House with the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Ikorodu 1 as the prime mover.

The Motion had called the attention of the lawmakers to the alleged bad state of government estates spread across the state.

Agunbiade stated that most of the estates have become shadows of their old selves, adding that the occupants have changed the plans of the government for the estates.

“We noticed that the estates have become dilapidated as they lack maintainance, the premises are dirty, and people build all sorts of structures around the estate.

“If you go round the estates, you would observe that they have lost their beauty and they seems to have been abandoned over the years,” he said.

Supporting the Motion, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Agege 2 stated that it is meant to make life better for the residents of the estates, and that if the situation continues, the houses in the estates would keep collapsing.

Also speaking, Hon. Adebisi Yusuff, Alimosho 1 said that most of the estates in his area are in a bad state.

He added that some owners of the estates have even sold them, and that they are now living inside containers.

“There should be facility managers for the estates. For instance, Jakande Estate in Abesan should have a police station, but the whole land have been occupied illegally,” he said.

Hon. Omotayo Oduntan from Alimosho 2 also believed that most of the estates have become eyesores, and that they have become over-populated over the years.

She emphasized that people have even turned the estates to dumping sites.

According to Hon. Rasheed Makinde, the problem with the estate has to do with lack of lay out plans, while stressing that FESTAC 77 Estate in Amuwo Odofin has become a den of armed robbers.

Some of these observations were corroborated by other lawmakers including Hon. Olawale Olayiwola, Mushin 2, Hon. Noheem Adams and Hon. Saka Solaja, Ikorodu 2, but Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu denied the claim that hoodlums have taken over FESTAC 77 Estate.

Mugabe’s Resignation: Legislators Urge African Leaders To Quit When Ovation Is Loudest

Some lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly have advised African leaders to quit the stage, when the ovation is loudest.

Commenting on the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe, who was forced to quit by the military, two lawmakers, who spoke in separate interviews said that this was a lesson to African leaders.

The lawmakers, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh from Apapa Constituency 2 and Hon. Bisi Yusuff from Alimosho Constituency 1 stressed that Mugabe overstretched his luck as the president of the country for 37 years.

Hon. Jimoh however, condemned the process through which Mugabe, was removed, while stating that he should have conducted a credible election rather than planning to install his wife in office.

He maintained that while Mugabe ought to have left the seat before now, military intervention should be condemned by all democrats.

“I am not saying Mugabe should look for his own successor, but I think we must be careful with the way the imperialists are handling the matter. I am sure an average Libyan is not happy with the way the late president Moamar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed.

“On the surface, it seems it is palatable, but the end might not be good. Nigerians jubilated, when former president Shehu Shagari was overthrown by the military government in 1983. But nothing came out of it.

“The constitution the military gave is that of the military and we are still battling with it. Even if the government of Shagari made mistakes, they should have been allowed to correct it overtime.

“Now, the people are making comparison between one political party and the other, one lawmaker and the other, one senator and the other and one governor and the other, and this is good,” he said.

The lawmaker compared what happened in Zimbabwe to what happened in Cuba, where he said the people insisted that Fidel Castro would die in office if the United States of America was bent on seeing to his removal.

According to him, a British Prime Minister served in the office on five occasions, adding that it was an error for Mugabe to have sacked his former vice.

He however, added that Zimbabwe is the most developed country in Southern Africa.

In his comment, Hon. Bisi Yusuff advised Zimbabweans to look for a person that would serve their interest as the next president, adding that Mugabe overspent his time as president.

Yusuff urged African leaders to put their houses in order, stressing that they should manage the resources of the people properly.

He then condemned the removal of Mugabe through a military junta.

House Urges Ambode To Preserve Historical Centres

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday called on the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola to list all the historical centres and monuments in the state with a view to preserving its cultural heritage and promote tourist interests.

This was part of the resolutions of the members of the House after deliberating on a motion sponsored by some members led by the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade.

The motion specifically identified Epetedo in Lagos Island, where the presumed winner of the June 12 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola made his declaration as the President of Nigeria.

Members believe that centres such as the first storey building in the country, Carter Bridge including Epetedo and other similar sites should be listed and preserved for future generations and economic values.

While supporting the motion, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who presided over the plenary maintained that the preservations of those historical centres would enhance the state interest in attracting tourisms into the state.

According to the Speaker, “I quite agree with the sponsors of the motion. There is need for us to identify and list all these centres and have access to them. When you are encouraging people to come to our state, we should get them to know the historical centres, it does not necessarily have to be government edifice.”

The prime mover of the Motion, Hon Agunbiade had earlier listed the categories of the historical centres and monuments into three.

According to Agunbiade, Grade A will include all centres that the government will list and take over.

Grade B, he said, will include those centres that the state government will compensate the family of the owners and Grade C will be listed and marked without any compensation.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun berated a situation, where such centres are demolished, adding that the government should preserve those centres for future generations.

“If such monuments are listed and preserved, it will enhance our value; it will enhance economic benefits rather than demolishing them,” Tobun added.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh said, “If we don’t know our history, we won’t know where we are coming from. Just like CMS which is the first Secondary school in the country. Herbert Macaulay’s statue fell down, but people didn’t feel the sense in re-erecting it. If we don’t preserve our collective patrimony, it does not show we are human.”

On his part, Hon. Bisi Yusuff reiterated the need to preserve the Epetedo centre. He argued that Abiola paid the supreme sacrifice to defend democracy.

He believes that democracy being enjoyed in the country today was as a result of Abiola’s doggedness, who according to him, fought the military, saying such a centre should be preserved.

Lagos Assembly Summons LBIC Managing Director Over Insubordination

The Managing Director of the Lagos State Building Investment Company, Mrs. Folasade Folivi has been ordered to appear before the House on Thursday 23rd November for disobeying its committee.

Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Urban and Physical Planning, Hon. Setonji David had said while presenting a report on a petition written by the residents of Ijaiye Low and Medium Housing Estate during plenary on Monday that the MD disregarded the order of the committee.

The residents of the estate had petitioned the House over a plan by LBIC to demolish the illegal structures in the estate.

Setonji added that the woman went ahead to demolish the alleged illegal structures within the estate, when the committee had ordered her to stay action on the demolition.

He said further that Folivi turned down the invitation of the committee for meetings on the matter and that she did not work with other agencies such as the Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning prior to the demolition.

The committee then recommended that the woman should be invited by the House to explain why she shunned the invitations of the committee and why she went ahead with the demolition.

All the lawmakers, who spoke on the matter agreed with the recommendations of the committee and described Folivi’s action as a disregard to the House.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo from Shomolu Constituency 1 stressed that Folivi ought to be removed immediately, while the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated that only the Governor had the right to order the demolition of any structure in the state.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that it was important for the woman to come to the House to explain the reason behind her action, adding that the House would hear from her before reaching conclusions on the recommendations of the committee.

We Will Continue To Agitate For Special Status For Lagos – Obasa

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has assured Lagosians that the Assembly will continue to agitate for special status for the state and other amendments that are beneficial to the state in the on-going ammendment of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Obasa gave the assurance while answering questions at the opening of a-4 day retreat on the budget process and an overview of the 1999 constitution amendment organised by the Assembly for lawmakers and staff of the Assembly at the Park Inn by Radisson in Abeokuta yesterday.

He expressed optimism that the agitation will pull through, “I am sure the agitation for special status would be achieved because we deserve it; it is not just for political reasons or any other thing but because of the status of Lagos in this country and in West Africa.

“I am sure the current administration will see reasons behind this demand and agree with us that we deserve what we are asking for”, Obasa said.

According to the Speaker, other areas of amendment the Assembly is working on which are very crucial to the state apart from special status and devolution of power to states are “motor plate numbers, issuance of license, waterways and so many other areas that are crucial to us. These are sources of revenue for Lagos State,” Obasa said.

He further assured Lagosians that in 2018 the Assembly will continue to improve their standard of living through legislation, resolutions and other ways through cooperation with the executive “so as to raise the bar in Lagos State”.

He said the retreat is to creat a better understanding of the budget process among the lawmakers and staff especially as the governor will soon present the 2018 budget to the House.

“As supervisors of the executive and representatives of the people we want to be sure we understand their presentation to raise our own standard when it comes to oversight functions and budget passage. We are the people that can move Lagos forward as representatives of the people”, obasa said.

Earlier In his welcome address, the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni said that the retreat is to enhance understanding of participants, share ideas and discuss critical issues relating to budget passage “to ensure that they are well grounded n the budget process by sharpening their skills and exposing participants to the technique of budgeting to improve transparency and accountability in governance”, Sanni said.

Throwing more light, the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy, Hon. Tunde Braimoh said, “the exercise is to articulate and evaluate the position of Lagos State in the on-going constitution amendment process and also to develop or devise plans of how to engender the support and collaboration of other states in some areas so that we can influence the way the votes go”, Braimoh said.

Also speaking, the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Rotimi Olowo said that the state expects a better 2018 with improvement in the price of crude oil and increase in oil production as well as expected increase in revenue from taxes. All these, he said, will translate to more revenue for the state.

Adding that the shortage in revenue generation in 2017 as a result of the recession and downturn in economic activities globally resulted in shortfall in expenditure and consequently the execution of projects and plans in 2017.

Lagos Assembly Tasks Executive On Fake Advertisers

Worried by the rampant rate of fake advertisements displayed on Lagos Streets, the State House of Assembly has asked the Sate Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the Commissioner of Police, Mr Edgar Imohimi to curb the menace.

The House which also berated the performance of the State Neighborhood Safety Corps in terms of intelligence gathering, directed that the agency should provide security within the neighborhood to curb fake advertisers who defraud job seekers.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who presided over the plenary said “it is not out place to seek for jobs but the situation has turned upside down. I strongly believe that the neighborhood safety corps is not doing enough in this aspect.

Obasa therefore called on the corps unit to verify claims on adverts placed on walls and liaise with the police in providing intelligence gathering to address the trend.

Earlier, Hon. Abiodun Tobun who is the prime mover of the motion, had called on the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the commissioner of police, Department of State Security (DSS) and the State Neighborhood Safety Corps to curb the activities of scammers who defraud job seekers.

Hon. Tobun noted that “the motion is borne out of conviction. If you go around Lagos, you will be amazed seeing the number of adverts that are non-existent with a view to luring unsuspected youth into their dens. The victims are kidnapped, raped or even killed.

“Rituals killers also use that as a strategy. It is time to track down this and ensure that it is nipped in the bud,” Tobun said.

Rotimi Olowo on his part explained that, “When population is moving geometrically and job is growing arithmetically, there is going to be vacuum. They come up with strategy to recruit and maim and kill.

“I’m worried as a politician because 2019 is around the corner, people will believe the politicians are the ones who need human parts,” saying Lagos State Signage and Advertisements Agency (LASAA) must ensure scammers are detected.

While making his own contribution, Hon. Segun Olulade pointed out that the newly established Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps has more to do in this respect in terms of intelligence gathering.

According to the lawmaker, “we have seen a lot of advertisements on walls along the streets claiming what they are not,” adding that the youth could also come up with security gadgets to verify job vacancies especially on the internet.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu explained that emphasis should be laid on publicity and enlightenment, saying “when people do not have anything to eat their reasoning is affected

Ogundimu advised that the Employment Trust Fund of the state, which is aimed at providing loans for small scale businesses should be sustained.

While making his contribution, Hon. Rasheed Makinde who said he had once been a victim of such sharp practises, said as “Lagos is working assiduously to provide jobs, over states and the federal government should also do the same to curb influx of unemployed youth into the state.”

Strengthening legislative practices in Lagos local government councils – Mufutau Egberongbe

Of course, Lagos is known and respected for scoring many firsts in policies, laws and ideas for the betterment of its citizens. In many instances, it has shown over time that having the right leadership at the helm of affairs is just what a society needs to become the envy of its neighbours.
Yes, in the last two and half years, the state has witnessed unprecedented progress. You want to know why? The arms of government constantly decided to look away from human sentiments and work strictly with the law. We are lucky that as usual, we have a governor who believes in the rule of law and is always careful to ensure it takes preeminence in his bid to make the state the real Centre of Excellence. The various laws implemented as well as the resolutions worked on by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode attest to this position. Who benefits from such visionary leadership and smooth process of governance? Of course the residents of the state.
This then brings upon us the importance of the local government system in Nigeria and particularly, Lagos. It further brings to mind the need to strengthen that part of government since, as it is supposed to be, it is the nearest to the people of a state.
There is usually this voter apathy each time the local government elections are held. The simple reason and, maybe justifiably so, is that the local government, overtime, became the farthest of the three tiers thus beating its supposed importance. The state is now even closer to the people than local government. There are complaints by the public that they even hardly know their chairmen, councillors, supervisors and secretaries to the local governments and other appointees of that tier of government. The claim is that they are only seen during electioneering.
It is not supposed so. An appointee at that level should be a grassroots person, one who is a middleman between the communities he represents and the state. He should also have a grasp of the activities of the state government.
With these thoughts and arguments, for example, the Lagos state House of Assembly has been at the forefront of ensuring officials at the local government level understand why they are there. It should not always be business as usual creating the impression, which has now gone very wide, that opportunities at that level is only ‘job for the boys’.
It is known that oversight on local government by the lawmakers in Lagos has been the best across the country and this is not taking out the fact that the executive arm of government has been of major assistance and cooperation.
As part of the need to further strengthen the grassroots government and ensure that appointees at that level are in tandem with the operations at the state level, the House came up with the decision to constantly have nominees screened just like in the case of the appointment of commissioners and other such officers at the state level. This decision is a part of the Local Government Administrative Guidelines of the state.
The implication of not screening and confirming such appointments is therefore that anyone who occupies a position of that magnitude would legally only be seen as holding it in acting capacity. Ibrahim Magu, who heads the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is a good case of argument here. He has remained in acting capacity since his appointment.
It is always known that screening of appointees gets them prepared for the task ahead of them. It also keeps them conscious of party manifestos and what they should do. Of course, it is never a witch-hunt exercise, but a pragmatic attempt to complement the efforts of the Governor. For example, a prospective appointee is supposed to know the status of the Neighbourhood Watch initiative in his domain, what they think about the government’s battle in trying to sanitise the state, especially their own areas, what they think can be done to further encourage or boost the government of the state. So screening and confirming them confers on them a level of legitimacy.
It is also pertinent that with the successes recorded with the town hall meetings so far organised by the state House of Assembly, it is also necessary that this should he replicated by the various councils before the chairmen would present budgets and have them approved. This would make the councils understand the needs of the people governed. There is further need for the training of officers at that level to understand that the budget is not just one of those usual documents, but one which is legally binding on everyone and which must streamline spendings by the chairman. In this case, while the new executive arm of the local government should be trained by the state, the councillors, who form the legislative arm, should be trained by the House of Assembly so they would understand democratic and legislative cultures.
Will this action accelerate the progress of the state? The answer does not need further argument. It is a big YES.

Egberongbe is the special adviser on political and legislative matters to Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos state House of Assembly.

RE: LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY KICKS AGAINST AMBODE’S IMPOSED LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXCO LIST (ASSEMBLY’S TRUE POSITION)

The attention of the Lagos State House Of Assembly has been drawn to the above captioned mischief currently making the rounds especially in the print and social media.

The sensational falsehood stems from the calculated, subjective and tainted misinterpretation and misrepresentation of a statement issued by the House of Assembly dated 3rd Nov 2017 with reference No LSHA/FAD/O/155/82 directed to the state Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon Muslim Folami.

The said letter titled APPOINTMENT OF SUPERVISORS TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS / LOCAL COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREAS was solely predicated at guiding the newly positioned Chairmen of Councils on the need for appropriate procedure as well as intimating them with the relevant provisions of the operational administrative guidelines which require the approval of the legislative arms of the respective councils to validate appointments into the local government executive committees.

This was deemed necessary to avoid unnecessary bickering and unpleasant corollaries that might be the consequences of an abridged process or procedure.

It is needless to say that the Lagos State House of Assembly has unreserved esteem and regards for the office and person of the Governor and the thoughtful guidance routinely issued was not in any way intended to denigrate, dissipate or disrupt the processes but rather to enrich, enhance and further establish democratic tenets and institutions by ensuring that the principles of checks and balances are replicated in the renascent Local Government system.

In the circumstances therefore, the mis-interpretation accorded the harmless action of the House of Assembly is regrettable, unreasonable, misleading, unacceptable and is hereby condemned.
The three arms of Government are clearly separated yet intricately and delicately fused. Consequently, they are inter- regulatory and inter-complimentary .

These are basic ideologies of democracy which need not be subjected to ludicrous, delusive, derisive or divisive twists.

SOB AGUNBIADE
Hon Majority Leader

Lagos State Set To Regulate Swimming Pool Operations

The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to regulate swimming pool operations in the state.

According to the proposed regulations entitled; “Lagos State Safety Commission (Public Swimming Pools) Regulations 2014,” it would be 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 today at the Assembly complex.

In his speech at the event, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon.Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said that it was necessary for the state to regulate swimming pool operations as a mega-city that would soon become a smart city.

A stakeholder, who is also the Secretary/Legal Assistant of the Commission, Mrs. Omotola Sanusi, said that the commission has made some additions into the regulation.

Some of the additions are that 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 and that it should be increased.

In his submission, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi wondered why the regulations target only public swimming pools, adding that private swimming pools should also be regulated as accidents occur in them on a regular basis.

The Director General/CEO of the Commission, Mr Hakeem Dickson noted that the regulation had been initially stepped down by the 7th Assembly 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.

He said that policy and safety statements must be visible stated by any operators to ensure safety of lives.

Speaking with newsmen, Hon. 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.

“It is all about reducing the death rates in the swimming pools in the state,’’ he said.

He further explained that the regulation is looking at the regulation that will cover public and private swimming pools in the 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 the bill prescribed penalties for non- compliance in the administration of swimming pools.

Sokunle said that the development would also generated revenue to the state, as defaulters would be forced to pay penalties.

According to him, there has not been any regulation in the history of the state that focus on swimming pools, saying the regulation will assist the commission to perform his responsibility better.

“Without this regulation, this commission won’t be able to perform his duties as regards safety of lives around swimming pool.

“There are task forces that will work with the safety commission to ensure compliance to the provisions of the regulation,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the regulations directed that no person shall operate public swimming pool, beach, wading pool, whirlpool, spa, hot tub or others relating to health unless it is approved by appropriate authority in the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development that would issue a certificate of approval.

The regulation provides further that all public swimming pools should have an alarm capable of detecting a person entering water at any point on the surface of the pool and giving an audible alarm.

It added that every installation intended to allow or prevent access to the swimming pool must be kept in good working order.

According to the regulation, any person, who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of the regulations shall be liable to a penalty of N20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira).

“A swimming pool operator, who contravenes a provision of these regulations is liable to a penalty of N250,000.00 (Two hundred and fifty thousand naira) only,” it said.

All swimming pool owners were also directed to post a sign stating the rules of the pool in a conspicuous position within the pool enclosure.

“The signage shall contain information indicating the location of telephone for emergency use; emergency numbers, “no lifeguard on duty” in the circumstance where lifeguards are not required,” the regulations added.

Cleanliness of swimming pools was also stated in the regulations with a directive that the operator of the swimming pool shall keep it clean and clear of obstructions.

They are also to provide adequately equipped hand basins, and where such services are offered; bathing suits and bath-towels ‘shall be laundered after each use and stored/handled in a sanitary manner.’

Also included in the regulations that would still be debated by the lawmakers is a provision that public swimming pools water and the walls and bottom of pools shall be kept free of visible dirt, liter, body oils and algae growth.