The importance of recreation in mental and physical development of human was demonstrated at the weekend as Lagos State Government in its quest to develop all open spaces within the metropolis into recreation and relaxation spots formally handed over the Oworonsoki Mini Sports Complex to the community.

In his keynote address, Dr. Muiz Banire, the State Commissioner for Environment, noted that the development of the interchange into a sports complex was borne out of the desire to create enabling environment for the youths of Lagos State to channel their energy towards productive endeavour, keep them away from crime and help develop sport skills which are capable of not only making them great men and women but also making the state and the nation proud.

Banire whose ministry developed the open space, added that it will be recalled that like many open spaces and public recreational grounds, the parcel of land had been taken over and converted to all sorts of use that are inimical to the aesthetics of the environment, health of the people and most especially undermining the security of lives and properties. He said these illegal activities make the state looked like one big slum with haphazard development.

According to him, “this unacceptable negative development informed the decision of our Administration to aggressively pursue the reclamation of open spaces through out the state, create recreational parks and bring back as much greenery as possible. It is in line with this that, Governor Babatunde Fashola directed that this space be developed into a mini sports complex for the use of the youths of this area.

“I must register the fact that we had an initial challenge of convincing the youths that their playground was not about to be taken away from them and converted to other uses. I feel very proud therefore to stand before the youths to redeem our pledge by yielding up this complex to them having been developed to enable them make optimal use of it.

“I congratulate the youths and community leaders who assisted tremendously in making this dream a success. I commend them for believing in this government and for their passion for the project which contribution immensely to overcoming challenges faced in the course of this project.

The complex we are handing over today consists of a football pitch, basket ball court, wrestling and boxing rings.
“To ensure all year maintenance of the pitch and complementary greens, there are bore holes and sprinklers to ensure regular supply of water for irrigation purposes. Also, the complex is fenced and well lit for security and safety reasons.

The fence will also prevent ball from flying on to the road and causing accidents. It is gratifying to note that the parks and gardens created all over the state are being put to judicious use by the appreciative people of Lagos and I hope that this one will not be an exception. I wish to reiterate that open space protection is good for a community’s health, stability, beauty and quality of life”, Banire stated.

Warning signals for Eko Atlantic City

The concept of developing an exclusive eight square kilometres stretch of residential, commercial, financial and tourist resort along the Bar Beach on Victoria Island, is part of the Lagos urban renewal programme which those behind it believe will ease tha accommodation problem in the nation’s commercial capital.

The N416.5 billion Eko Atlantic City project involves massive land reclamation. Besides providing much_needed accommodation and office space, experts say that the project is designed to restore the land lost to coastal erosion over the last 60 years and provide a permanent solution to the erosion problem.

But the recent flooding that submerged Australian city of Brisbane and concerns about increased flooding around the world, the sponsors of the project must take a holistic approach to developing the city.

Upon completion Eko Atlantic City will to provide residential accommodation for 250,000 people. The development is also expected to provide employment for at least 50,000 people. The experience of developing exclusive locations like Dolphin Estate, VGC, Lekki phase one and Two which degenerated into crowded and neglected is also a source of concern to watchers of the construction industry.

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