Nigeria requires not less than N4.3trillion to tackle effects of coastal erosion and ocean surge across the 853km shorelines across nine states of the federation.
This was the submission of the Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Adesegun Oniru, on Tuesday, just as he tasked the Federal Government to put in place special budget to tackle erosion to avoid disaster in the nation’s coastal states.
Oniru was guest lecturer at the 2013 Annual Distinguished Lecture organised by the Nigeria Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), with the theme, ‘Nigeria’s Coastal Erosion: A Case Study of the Lagos State Coastline’.
Oniru listed states, including Lagos, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Ogun as states needing urgent intervention to protect the coastlines serving as national boundaries in the country.
He lamented that there was little effort being made by the Federal Government to address the issue of coastal erosion leaving the states affected the entire burden of funding coastal protection interventions.
He said Lagos State, which has experienced coastal erosion, including the surge at the Alpha Beach in 2011 and Kuramo in 2012, has strived to bring lasting solution to the problem.
Oniru recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan, alongside Minister for Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, and a delegation from the Ecological Fund Office, had paid a visit to the Alpha Beach in 2011 after the surge, promising that the Federal Government will assist Lagos to address the challenge.
“As I talk to you now, we have not received any form of assistance in any way from the Federal Government, all the efforts so far, has come from the resilient efforts of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration.
According to him, the state government has so far spent N39 billion in various intervention works to protect the 7.5km coastline from the end of Eko Atlantic City to Alpha Beach, while N440 billion is required to save the coastline from end of Eko Atlantic City to coastline boundary in the state.
He reminded that the foresight of the state government led to the commencement of the Eko Atlantic City project, adding that it has preserved the existence of Victoria Island and environs, which was hitherto wiped out when the Bar Beach over shot its boundary.
Oniru, while proffering solutions to avoid natural disaster in the country, urged the Federal Government to ensure that state governments are not left to handle coastal protection alone.