The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola has warned residents in the state to be prepared for more ocean surge in what he described as the typhoon season which is raging across cities bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
The governor gave the warning on Saturday while inspecting the devastated Kuramo Beach in Victoria Island, which was destroyed by an over-night ocean surge, killing 16 people.
Mr Fashola described the ocean surge as part of a global environment challenge which the state government will continue to address with innovative and courageous solutions.
Noting that earlier in the day, Hurricane Isaac hit Haiti and some states United States, the governor stated “it 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 further explained “it is like when you throw a pebble into a bowl of water, you will see ripples. We will feel the ripple end (of Hurricane Isaac) 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?” the governor asked.
Responding to the recent criticism that the on-going dredging for Eko Atlantic City could be responsible for the ocean surge, the Governor affirmed his government can beat its chest 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”, he stated.
The governor pledged 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.
He descried the development at Kuramo as “an emergency that must be dealt with”, adding that if the federal government is not going to come to the aid of the state, he will find ways to ensure that the State House of Assembly make appropriation for Kuramo. The Kuramo erosion challenge was not included in the budgetary plans for the year, he added.