By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront, Arch. Kabiru Abdullahi, has urged the Federal Government to join forces with the State Government in mitigating the effects of erosion and the protection of Lagos Coastline.
The Commissioner made the appeal on Wednesday at the Year 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing in commemoration of the First Year in Office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, held at the JJT Park in Alausa, Ikeja.
“The erosion of Lagos coastline is a direct impact of the construction of the Eastern and Western Moles by the Federal Government as far back as 1912 to provide safe access for vessels coming into the Lagos harbour. This has put a heavy financial burden on the State with regards to the protection of its coastline”, Abdullahi said.
He also urged the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to create channels for boat navigation on the waterways and stop enabling illegal dredging activities, stressing that the Agency needs to support Lagos in preventing the degradation of Lagos shoreline, road infrastructure and halting environmental pollution.
In his words: “NIWA should refocus its attention on its primary mandate, which is to create channels for boat navigation on the Waterways, instead of acting as land speculators among others”.
Arc. Abdullahi further stated that a total of 34 dredgers operating illegally were arrested and prosecuted by the State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences during the period under review.
To further increase land availability for Housing and Infrastructural Development, the Lagos State Government has expressed the desire to continue to create more man-made islands at its waterfront across the State.
According to the Commissioner, work has commenced on the reclamation of 100 hectares of the land proposed for mixed-use development named “Ostia Islands”, beside Orange Island at Eti-Osa Local Government Area.
Abdullahi added that approval was also granted for the reclamation of 54.58 hectares at Makoko for redevelopment, while the Majidun-Awori Island project will be embarked upon to bring commercial and residential real estate development to the Ikorodu corridor.
While stating that the projects will be financed through Public-Private Partnership, Abdullahi listed other upcoming projects such as King’s City Island, to be constructed on 150 hectares and located 300 metres north of Victoria Garden City; and Olumegbon Royal Land (Palaver Yard Extension) with proposed 6.6 hectares of land.
He also disclosed that the Lagos State Government has continued to work with its partners at the Orange and Gracefield Islands currently undergoing construction during the period under review.