By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS — President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, directed the Ecological Fund Office in the Presidency to work out modalities for the release of ecological fund to Lagos State Government with a view to finding immediate and necessary solutions to the flood that has continued to ravage the metropolis.
This came as Lagos State Government has awarded contracts for the upgrading of all identified canals, noting that it will require billions of Naira to effectively solve the traumatic problems of flooding in the state.
Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office in the Presidency, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, who, yesterday, led a delegation of Federal Government officials along with the state Commissioners for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello and Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed on an assessment tour of the worst hit flooded areas in Lagos State, expressed the readiness of the Federal Government to collaborate with the Lagos State Government as part of intervention measure to forestall future occurrence.
Some of the areas visited by the delegation included: Elere channel, Oko-Oba channel both by old Abattoir, Abeokuta Expressway, Agege; Casso Bus-stop, along Lagos-Abeokuta expressway; Down Stream, Oko-Oba/Aboru channels at Pleasure, Iyana-Ipaja; Arigbanla channel, Oke-Koto by Alfa Nla Street as well as some beaches in Lekki where the Atlantic Ocean has eroded several meters of land.
Answering questions from newsmen, Odusote assured that the President would expedite action to ensure prompt implementation of recommended solutions, even if it meant by-passing some bureaucratic processes.
Also, speaking with newsmen, Bello who said the state government required billions of Naira to combat flood menace in the state, explained that the flood’s devastating impact had jolted the state government to the reality of the inadequacies of its present drainage system. He added that the state government has applied to the Federal Government for aid, through the Ecological Fund Office.
He also disclosed that the state government has commenced demolition of all marked structures built on or along canals and water channels. He listed the areas to include, Ajegunle, Surulere, Obalende, Oshodi, Apapa, Epe among others.
Bello also announced that the state government has awarded various contracts to experts on the upgrading of various canals saying the state government would not wait for FG’s intervention alone even as he described the intervention as a welcome development.