Appalled at the eyesore and environmental threats they constitute, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure the removal of ship wrecks and abandoned vessels from the state’s coastline.
According to Fashola, the wrecks and vessels are defacing the coastline.
Fashola spoke at the just-concluded Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2013 in Lagos, where he was represented by his Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa.
The Governor lamented that in Lagos, over 250 metres of the coastline have been eroded in the last three years by abandoned vessels and wrecked ships, urging the Federal Government to save over 18 million Lagosians from ocean surge.
He explained that torrential rains in parts of the state last year were tragic, as many lives were lost and properties worth millions of naira washed away.
He posited that the wrecks needed to be removed, because they could provide miscreants hideouts.
Fashola pointed out that Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, suffered a shutdown and economic activities were grounded over fears of flooding, owing to failure to remove the wrecks and abandoned vessels.
He pointed out that most of the villages on the Alpha Beach were deserted by the residents, because of the last year’s flood, warning that there may be a recurrence unless the Federal Government removed the wrecks and abandoned vessels.
Noting that last year’s ocean surge hit the state terribly because of the wrecks, Fashola said that the incident was a wake-up call for the Federal Government to take climate changes seriously.
He opined that there were wrecks which were potentially either dangerous to navigation, or the health of the people because of their decayed, hazardous, or toxic state.
Fashola said: “We have to look into ways we can tackle the problems of ship wrecks. Ship wrecks have rendered the Lagos coastline not as safe as we intend it to be. They abound all over the state and they have become very, very difficult and expensive for us to maintain.
“The recent ocean surge along our beach line is a testimony to the problem they posed to our environment.
“It you visit Alpha beach and a lot of Lagos beaches, you will see that they are almost gone. The major cause of this is ship wreck.”
Also speaking, representative of President Goodluck Jonathan at the event, and Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, said that the Federal Government is set to remove all the wrecks along the channels.
He assured that the contract for the removal of the wrecks would be awarded before the end of the second quarter of the year.
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