By Grace Alegba/Yemi Adeleye
Lagos State Government has urged the Federal Government to provide N400 billion to complete efforts in saving the nation’s coastlines from erosion.
The erosion is already threatening some parts of the state.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Water Front Infrastructure Development, Mr Kabiru Abdullahi, made the appeal while taking questions from journalists during the 2020 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the first anniversary of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
Abdullahi said that the state government had constructed 18 groins and needed to construct 60 extra to wade off violent ocean currents eating up the nation’s coastline and compounding environmental degradation, erosion and flooding.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that groins are man-made structures designed to act as breakers to trap sand moving down beaches.
“On the Eko Atlantic City Project, so far, 18 groins have been constructed at 400 metres intervals covering a distance of about 7.2 kilometres.
“We still have about 60 kilometres to go which is estimated to cost about N400 Billion.
“This is something that is very huge and of course, not a dime of the Ecological Funds have been accessed on this. It has all been financed by the state.
“We have issues with certain federal government agencies participating in certain activities, land speculations, reclamation of land for urban development, dredging activities, creating serious environmental issues for us in Lagos.
“I believe these are areas the federal government agencies should focus their attention upon and put in money into this project. This so much a huge burden for the state government to carry.
“This is a protection of the Nigerian coastline, it should not be left for the state to carry,’’ he said.
Abdullahi said that part of the recovered loot of late Gen. Sani Abacha, former Head of State, should be used for coastline and shoreline protection to prevent environmental degradation compounding Lagos flooding.
“The recently released tranche of Abacha loot of about 313 million dollars is supposed to also go into infrastructure. I don’t think of any better infrastructure that would do justice other than this one.
“So, the federal government and its agencies should look towards Lagos and come to our aid with this project,’’ he begged.
Speaking on activities of illegal sand dredgers, he said that the practice posed danger to the culprits, adding that regulations would soon be unveiled to stop the ugly act.
Abdullahi said that the call by the state’s legislative arm for strict enforcement of existing laws would also be complied with.
Similarly, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said that several illegal dump sites increased in the state as a result of neglect of existing ones.
He said that the Olusosu dumpsite was already under rehabilitation, adding that when the repairs were completed, the illegal dumpsites would disappear.
Bello, who was responding to questions, said that access routes were being created to the dumpsites to make all the dumpsites in Epe and other parts of the state viable.
He said that the Solus dumpsite was also reopened to tackle some of the ugly incidences from those creating the illegal dumps, adding that, its initial closure was premature.
Speaking on plastic waste clogging drains, Bello said the state was working on the conversion of such plastics wastes for construction and other uses while it continues to sensitize residents on dangers of drain stuffing.
“We need to stabilize our refuse management, we need to improve it tremendously. By the time we improve it, we can go into the process of waste conversion.
“Waste to fertilizer, to energy, in fact, the ultimate aim is to reduce the refuse going to the dumpsite,’’ he said.