… As Environment Ministry Holds 2024 Ministerial Briefing

The Lagos State Government on Friday reiterated its commitment to ensure that the State remains livable for all residents.

This assertion was made by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tokunbo Wahab during the Y2024 Annual Ministerial Press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre Alausa, saying that parts of the Lagos environment have been degraded due to the brazen acts of some residents. He reiterated the determination of the present administration to correct all wrongdoings while ensuring that there are consequences for infractions. 

The Commissioner, who was rendering the account of achievements of the Ministry in the past year, said past and present administrations have done so much to ensure that Lagos State does not experience loss of lives and properties to the vagaries of flash flooding.

Wahab bemoaned the selfishness of some elites in the state who build on major drainage setbacks and even brazenly remove markings from their building when they are served statutory contravention notices, adding that this kind of impunity can lead the state into a Hobbesian era where anarchy prevails.  

He said, “What is however ironic is that it is the same people who have used physical structures to block our drainages and do not allow the wastewater to drain into the proper channels that will take it to the river or lagoon are the same people with the loudest voices in lampooning the State for not doing enough to prevent flash flooding and its resultant damage to properties and avoidable dislocation and loss of lives”.

The Commissioner revealed that the Ministry has strengthened its Drainage Enforcement activities in ensuring due diligence concerning all drainage channels and restoring the Right of Ways on all channels while it continued its intense all-year-round clearing and cleaning of major primary and secondary drainage channels.

According to him, a total of 34 Primary Channels totalling approximately 115 km in length were executed under maintenance Dredging of Primary Channels spanning all 20 Local Government Areas and effectively draining several catchment areas simultaneously.

He explained that 144 Secondary Collectors covering 125.7 km were also cleaned while 281 Secondary Collector Drains totalling approximately 242.5 km in length, have also been approved for Cleaning.

The Commissioner said the Lagos State Government through the Drainage Construction Department awarded 77 contracts for the construction of new drainage channels measuring over 200 km of secondary collectors and 50 km of primary channels and concrete lining to ensure the free flow of stormwater.

According to him, given the coastal nature of Lagos State, past and present administrations have done a lot to clear and clean all major and secondary drainage channels on a year-round basis so that the State does not experience the loss of lives and properties to the vagaries of flooding that comes with torrential rainfall. 

While promising not to demolish any property that contravenes the Environmental Law but to remove such in the name of Public Interest, the Commissioner disclosed that the Ministry will continue to ensure law and order, construct new drainage channels and intensify works on already existing ones.

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