The Lagos State government has disclosed that it will continue to strengthen the infrastructural system along the State waterways to meet the emerging challenges of the coastal region and harness its full potentials for socio-economic development.
The State Commissioner for Waterfront, Dr. Babatunde Adejare stated this at the at the ongoing Y2018 Ministerial Press Briefing held at Bagauda Kaltho, Alausa, Ikeja to commemorate the Third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The Commissioner revealed that the State government is striving to ensure a balance between economic development and preservation that will enable access to the waterfront, ensure the beneficial use of waterfronts, prevent shoreline erosion and deter impairment of scenic beauty or permanent adverse changes to ecological systems, amongst others.
According to him, “In response to the challenges posed by Climate Change and Global Warming with an attendant rise in ocean level resulting in coastal erosion, the State Government has embarked on holistic measures to protect Coastal Communities and harness the full potentials of the waterways in providing economic prosperity”.
Speaking further, he said the Eko Atlantic City project is designed to stand on 10 million square meters of land reclaimed from the ocean and will be protected by an 8.5 kilometer-long sea revetment called, ‘The Great Wall of Lagos’.
“The Eko Atlantic City project has 6 Phases of implementation, phases 1-2 have already been completed with roads, potable water of World Health Organization (WHO) standard, fibre optics and advanced telecommunication facilities, and over 10,000 trees planted within the city in recognition of the Lagos State Government initiative to plant one million trees in the State”, the Commissioner affirmed.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, during a tour of the Eko Atlantic City, commended the State Government’s monumental stride in creating wealth from the coastal region and propelling the emergence of a 21st Century City out of the land formerly ravaged by coastal erosion.
Adejare maintained that with the transformation of the Bar Beach into Eko Atlantic City, the emergence of the new city will change the aesthetics of the coastline and the real estate market that is expected to eventually be home to 300,000 residents with an expected commuter volume of about 200,000 daily.
He averred that with the population of Lagos State progressing numerically, there is the need to intensify and complement its predominantly road-based transportation with water transportation in order to move a large number of people from one section to another.
He mentioned some of the ongoing projects at the State waterways to include the construction of nine concrete jetties with shelter and shoreline protection at Badagry VIP Charlet, Apa Waterfront, Baiyeku Waterfront, Offin Waterfront, Isalu-Ajido Badagry, Ilado Waterfront, Amuwo Odofin, Ilashe-Ojo, Ito Omu Waterfront, Epe and Takwa Bay Island, while the channelization Projects at Ijede-Badore route, Baiyeku-Ajah route, Ebute Ojo-Marina and Ijede-Marina are at various stages of completion.
According to Adejare, the Special Projects team of the Ministry has also carried out the channelization of Ferry Routes at Ijede to Badore (6km), Baiyeku to Ajah (7km), Ebute-Ojo to Marina (10km) and Ijede to Marina (16km) to create a path of 40m width and 4m minimum depth to accommodate bigger boats.
The Commissioner said in ensuring compliance with stipulated Dredging Laws and Health, Safety & Environment Guidelines in the State, a team of professionals conducted a routine monitoring of the three axes of Ikorodu, Badagry and Lekki/Ajah as part of a strategy to enable the Ministry observe the unwholesome and indiscriminate dredging practices going on in those areas.
He revealed that the government through the Ministry periodically engages dredging operators, water transporters, boat operators and other relevant stakeholders on compelling issues affecting dredging activities in the State, while defiant and illegal dredging operators in Addo foreshore, Eti Osa Local Government and Muwo in Ojo Local Government have been evacuated.