Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd right) being conducted round the Kuramo Beach by the Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru (2nd left) during Governor Fashola’s inspection tour of Kuramo Beach after the removal of illegal shanties by the Lagos State Government in the aftermath of a recent ocean surge at Victoria Island, Lagos, on Saturday, August 25, 2012. With them is a member, House of Representatives, Eti-Osa Federal Constituency, Hon Jide Akinloye ((left).
WorldStage Newsonline-- Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) as linked the ocean surge which recently affected Kuramo Beach in Victoria Island as part of a global environment challenge which the State Government will continue to address with innovative and courageous solutions.
Speaking while inspecting the beach at the weekend, he noted that it was important to realize that whatever “is happening in other parts of the world must have consequences down the line, the Governor who spoke in an interview with newsmen after the inspection stated that it has become an undeniable fact that the world is changing and it is only those who want to be caught up and taken away by the change who will continue to pretend.
“Just this morning, if you have been monitoring the news, you will see that Haiti has been hit by a storm, Hurricane Isaacs in the United States. It is the same Atlantic and I think that point must be made that this is the same Atlantic Ocean that is serving Haiti and most of the States and countries of the West African sub-region and Southern Africa to the left of your global map”.
“To your right is the Indian Ocean and right at the bottom around Cape Town is where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic meet. That is the Cape of Good Hope. So, people must understand this that if it is happening in those places, you must expect that there would be consequences down the line. America is going into hurricane season and we are bounded by the same Atlantic”.
The Governor explained further: “It is like when you throw a pebble into a bowl of water, you will see ripples. We will feel the ripple end maybe in a week or two as each storm hits America, as it hits Cuba and as it hits Haiti. Now in the Pacific Ocean, the South East Asian nation, Taiwan and all of them are now being buffeted by serious typhoons. Are we going to pretend that we are not part of that world?”.
Responding to a question on those pointing fingers at the Eko Atlantic City as being responsible for the surge, the Governor maintained that the government can beat its chest today that rather than being the cause of the problem, the project had been pivotal to saving the whole of Victoria Island from the Ocean surge adding that people often forget when a problem had been solved.
Governor Fashola explained that before the Eko Atlantic City project started, it was always front page news that the ocean surge had reached the Nigerian Law School, stressing that the same applied to the Modupe Oshikoya Avenue right in front of the IMB Plaza which was already gone.
“Now, you can drive through a road, now peoples’ homes did not flood. Victoria Island and Ikoyi are saved. Those are the financial heart of Nigeria’s capital markets today, banks, jobs, homes, skyscrapers and hotels. That is what the Eko Atlantic City has done”, the Governor stated.
He reiterated that since the problem is now manifesting itself in other parts of the state, it means government might have to extend the intensity of its work to the Kuramo parts and protect all of the homes and properties across the coastline up to Alpha Beach and Goshen Estate.
Describing the development as an emergency that must be dealt with if the Federal Government is not going to come to the aid of the state, the Governor stated that the Kuramo erosion challenge was not included in the budgetary plans for the year by the State Government and will now necessitate the Government going back to the House of Assembly to see how it can get appropriation.
Governor Fashola added: “for those jobless commentators and political jobbers, they have not surprised me. One is very aware of the limitations of their thinking. The only thing that has surprised me is that they showed very poor knowledge of geography and history that ordinary students in our Climate Change Clubs in the schools now know and it is a shame that their history and geography is not only poor, they have demonstrated it publicly”.
He told newsmen that he was at the Kuramo Beach to see things for himself as he was out of the country when the incident occurred, adding that he was getting regular briefings from the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development , Prince Adesegun Oniru, under whose purview the area is and commended him and other agencies of government for a job well done.
The Governor was taken round on the inspection by the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Segun Oniru and was also joined by the member representing the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency House of Representatives, Hon Jide Akinloye other aides of the Governor.
The Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development had earlier explained that contrary to ignorant insinuations being made, it was the Eko Atlantic City wall that saved Victoria Island from the powerful Ocean surge which accompanied the seven days of high waves that recently affected the Nigerian coastal line with the State being the most hit due to its location.