By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
The Lagos State government has said its contributory pension scheme for the state civil service has hit N16 billion, even as it said the actual construction work on the proposed Eko Atlantic City was expected to commence before the end of the year.
Similarly, the government has raised alarm over danger of shipwreck on waterways.
Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Mr. Jide Sanwo-olu and his Waterfront and Infrastructure counterpart, Mr. Segun OniruÂ made the revelations at different fora in Alausa as part of events to mark the third anniversary of Governor Babtunde Fashola administration.
Mr. Sanwo-olu said the money was made up of the mandatory seven and half per cent contribution each from the employer and employee and stressed that the state had been able to meet up with its share of the contribution since February 2007.
The commissioner said the money had been deposited with the various Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs, chosen by public servants in Lagos.
He said over 10,839 pensioners were paid regularly and directly through their bank accounts, adding that accumulated retirement benefitsÂ for some government agencies were also paid during the period.
The commissioner said the state government in addition approved payment of 27.5 percent increment in basic salary to teachers in the state public service while non-teaching staff got an increment of 7.5 percent and added that changes would be effected automatically once there was change in status of category of staff concerned.
Danger of abandoned ships
While speaking on the activities of his ministry, Oniru raised an alarm over threat posed to Lagos and its coastal communities by abandoned ships along the waterways which concerned federal agencies are not doing enough to remove urgently.
Oniru who dropped the hint while briefing the media on some of the key projects undertaken by the Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure in the last three years, said: â€œSo far, on the Eko Atlantic City, a total of 728,873 square metres had been reclaimed from the ocean where construction is expected to begin later in the year.
â€œAn overall area of 1,037.763 hectares is to be reclaimed from the ocean to sit the project. The volume of sand pumped in the reclamation area as at February 2010 is 11,672,404 and the length of revetment is 1,025 metres.
â€œThe Eko Atlantic City is a project aimed at restoring land lost to coastal erosion since the late 1950s and providing a permanent solution to erosion by providing a robust sea wall along the newly reconstructed coastline as well as actual creation of a city in the Atlantic.
â€œThe total length of development is 7,500 metres along the Atlantic with an average width of 1260 metres. Incorporated into it will be a central waterways of 30 metres wide which will provide water transportation facilities connecting the three marinas provided for within the development.
â€œThe project which is to be developed in phases on completion will provide homes forÂ not less than 25Ã¶,Ã¶Ã¶Ã¶ people while 15Ã¶,Ã¶Ã¶Ã¶ others are expected to commute daily in and out of the city which will also become the commercial and economic hub of LagosÂ and West Africa.â€
On the danger posed by several abandoned ships on waterways around the shoreline, Oniru warned that unless urgent steps were taken by appropriate agencies of the Federal Government such as the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA and Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency NIMASA, Lagos faced the threat of being eroded by erosion.