Nigeria News

Flood And The Ingenuity of A Government

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ElevateNews takes a look at the current flood and what the government ought to have done before now.

In the nearest future, Lagos and by extension the Federal Government will be making a lot of money from the Eko Atlantic City.

This is a new peninsula that has grown out from the ingenuity of a Lagos State Government led by the former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Eko Atlantic is a baby that was born to permanently put a stop to the annual Atlantic Ocean surge at the Lagos Bar Beach. Each year before a city would later grow out of the ocean, the surge would always cover the Bar Beach and submerge buildings along Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island.

Then the commercial activities on that long road were always brought to a halt while vehicles would be diverted to alternative routes. In those days, the Federal Government spent about N2 billion annually to sand fill the ocean so as to prevent the surge, yet it never worked.

The sand filling was such a bad policy of sinking hardearned money blindly into water. One of the major programmes of the former Governor Babatunde Fashola was the rigorous sensitization and education of the residents on climate change.

He spoke extensively on the melting of the glacier world due to the increased hot weather. This undoubtedly has persistently led to ocean surge that usually affected Lagos then. But today, about 250, 000 residents will be living at the Eko Atlantic City with over 150, 000 jobs to be created after completion.

The city will also boost the tourism potential of Lagos. The then big problem has turned out to become a blessing for the State of aquatic splendour within the spate of 20 years. This is because a government came on board with the right idea to turn the waste to wealth.

Each time I travel along the long bridge of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, I observe a large expanse of plain land that can be used to develop the biggest industrial centre in Africa. It was gathered that the land belonged to Ogun State Government but the successive administrations had failed to turn it to wealth because of the perennial flood.

Each time the Ogun-Osun River Basing Authority opens the Oyan Dam, the flood flows through this large expanse of land. To me, this is a smaller problem compared to the ocean surge, which has since become history in Lagos.

The Ogun State Government should look outward and find a lasting solution to this as Lagos did a few years ago when it partnered the private and the Federal Government to reclaim large expanse of land from the ocean to build a city.

This expanse of land in Ogun, if converted to a Free Trade Zone could solve the problem of flooding with the dredging of a big canal closer to Ogun River. This will also provide solace for millions of residents who have since been rendered homeless because the government lacks the ingenuity to stop the ravaging flood.

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