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Lagos needs N1.2trn for 42km coastline protection – Commissioner

.as Netherlands forges partnership for coastal zone mgt

The Lagos State Government said it needed over N 2.1 trillion for the protection of a 42 kilometre stretch coastline requiring about 105 groins.

State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Yacoob Alebiosu, stated this at the weekend, while hosting a business delegation from the Netherlands, led by Consular-General Michel Deelen, at the ministry.

Alebiosu, however, expressed optimism over the partnership between the state government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands in coastal zone management.

The visit was a continuation of earlier discussions which focused on potential collaborations in managing the Lagos coastline.

The meeting explored opportunities for cooperation in water management, coastal protection, and sustainable development.

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According to Alebiosu, “If we are to address the entire stretch of our coastline, the costs are significant. Nevertheless, we must persist in our efforts to protect the ancestral land and livelihoods of the affected communities.

“However, we need to extend this from Alpha Beach to Ibeju Lekki, a 42 kilometre stretch requiring about 105 groins.

“More than a year ago, in February 2023, the cost of constructing a groin was about N12 billion. The total coastline in Lagos is approximately 180 kilometres, Km, which is substantial.

“We have identified some African countries that have tackled similar challenges using better and cheaper groin technology.

“We are studying these methods and want to be thoroughly convinced before committing. We assure the affected communities that the solution is near and ask for their patience,” Alebiosu assured.

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Alebiosu also noted that the state was considering replenishment methods used in the Netherlands for long-term solutions, stressing the importance of collaboration with the federal government and private sector in protecting the coastline.

The commissioner highlighted the state’s efforts to support communities along the coastline, acknowledging that while erosion is a natural occurrence, mitigation measures are essential.

Alebiosu mentioned that reclamation and protection of those villages, although expensive, are priorities.

“We are looking at reclamation and also protecting what is left of these villages, though it is very expensive.

“We have some groins around Okunde, known as the Great Wall, and aim to block these groins to relieve pressure in that area,” Alebiosu stated.

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He stressed the benefits that the Netherlands’ expertise in those areas would bring to Lagos’ waterfront infrastructure development.

Alebiosu, who also disclosed an ongoing conversation about the project, expressed excitement about the partnership’s prospects and its potential impact on coastal communities.

“The partnership between Lagos State and the Netherlands marks a significant step towards sustainable coastal management, promising enhanced protection and development for Lagos’ waterfronts,” Alebiosu stated.

Lagos State has been grappling with coastal erosion, particularly in communities such as: Idotun, Origanrigan, Olomowewe, Itoke, and Asoroko in Ibeju Lekki.

However, in a previous visit, the commissioner noted that the state was actively working to counter the issue with the introduction of new and cost-effective technology used by various countries, including some in Africa.