President Goodluck Jonathan, in company of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Tuesday, inspected shipwrecks at the Lekki Beach in Eti Osa Local Government Area and their impact on coastal erosion.
Jonathan, who alighted from a Nigerian Air Force Chopper with registration number NAF 541 on the beach accompanied by Fashola and the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said wherever shipwrecks happened, it should be the responsibility of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and other federal agencies to take charge.
Briefing the President earlier during the inspection, Bello said since the shipwrecks had been washed ashore, it was the state government that has been responsible for the removal of the wreckages.
He said the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and NIMASA should have come in to play their roles rather than leaving the state government to tackle the wreckage alone.
Giving insight into the President’s visit later at the Airport, Fashola said the visit of the President was symbolic because since the flood incident of last week, the President had expressed his sympathy and also sent men including a Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ecological Fund to evaluate it personally.
He said the President had also gone to Alpha Beach and part of Maiyegun Beach to see parts of the severely impacted places where the state could get some help.
Speaking during an interview with Airport correspondents after the visit, Fashola said the visit to Nigeria by two world leaders in the last 10 days reaffirms the assertion that the role of Africa on the planet has been particularly definitive and that Nigeria as the biggest black economy on the African continent will have a role to play depending on how she organizes herself.
“The message of the talk by the British Prime Minister is Aid, Trade and Democracy. There is a lot of business in the air. Our government agencies, banks, financial institutions must brace up. There are a lot of opportunities in the air and we must embrace it and take the benefit the way Britain expects us to benefit.
“There is a lot of work to be done and instead of grumbling, everybody including the media, the society, the government, civil society must see this now as one last huge opportunity for nation building”.
“We can use this decade as Nigeria’s turn around decade. It’s predicted that about six to eight fastest growing economies are on the continent. We would be there if we actualize the dream, potentials won’t take us there, actualising means rolling up our sleeves, stop quarrelling, fighting and stop being part of the problem but the solution”, Governor Fashola stated.
Responding to a question about the purported failure of the drainage system in the State as being responsible for flooding, the Governor affirmed that the people should be careful to jump into conclusions about workings of the drainages system without proper knowledge.
“This tells us that we have a lot of work to do to share information with the people that there is a drainage channel. But the drainage channels are not just channels that we call gutters but the body of lagoons, rivers, canals and creeks. The channels that we call gutters are to take water to the drainage. We have a lot to do to let people know the role the channels are supposed to play in the neighbourhoods”.
“We need to build more. go to Lekki, you will see our men, at Surulere in Babs Animashaun by Census, work is in progress, in Shomolu, three contractors are working, in Lekki by Igbokusu and Chevron by Ajiran. We have solved the problem in Idi Araba. Two years ago when we were doing the concrete lining, parts of Surulere were flooded and there was a lot of outcry.