Following the discovery of 32 abandoned shipwrecks on its coastlines, the Lagos State government on Thursday raised a fresh alarm, drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the environmental impacts of wrecked ships along the Lagos shoreline covering approximately 180 kilometres of the nation’s coastline.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Olusegun Oniru, who disclosed this at a press briefing said investigation carried out by his ministry showed that about 32 wrecked ships are presently abandoned on the Lagos coastline with dire consequences on the State, particularly communities along the shore.
He said the Federal Government needed to act fast in removing the abandoned vessels as they are the major cause of erosion which poses serious threat to lives and properties along the coast.
According to Oniru, government has put in place a coastal flood management unit under the ministry charged with the responsibility of managing coastal flooding and attending to emergency situations.
“To this end, a number of officers with related qualifications are being nominated to undergo training in Holland” on how to address the situation.
Harping on illegal dredging in the State, Oniru said the government was working out a new legislation that would incorporate stiffer sanctions for those involved as part of measures to discourage the practice.
The existing legislation recommends a fine of N2 million or a six month jail or both for illegal dredging in the State. This the commissioner said was not heavy enough to deter those involved in the illegal practice, hence the need for a review.
Recall that the State government had in July 2011 cried out to the presidency and subsequently invited President Goodluck Jonathan to personally assess the combined negative effects of wrecked ships, climate change and ocean surge which is practically washing away the Lagos Alpha Beach and some communities in Mayegun area of the State.