Truth & justice

Lagos Assembly tightens noose on dredging activities

… finetune sections of Amotekun,COVID-19 spread mitigation laws

ADESANYA OLANREWAJU

The Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has set up a seven-man adhoc committee to look into the indiscriminate activities of dredgers along the state shorelines.

The committee which is to be headed by Hon.Victor Akande, has Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu,Hon.Desmond Elliott,Hon.Nureni Akinsanya,Hon.David Setonji,Hon. Ajani Owolabi and Hon.Jimi Mohammed as members and is expected to report back in two weeks. 

The need for the committee arose after a motion of urgent public importance was moved by the Deputy Majority Leader Hon.Noheem Adams,calling for the need to put on hold all dredging activities in the shorelines of the state, as it clearly pose imminent threat on the lives of residents.

Adams the prime mover of the motion, listed the team of lawmakers on the same page with him on the motion to include;Hon.Mojisola Meranda Chief Whip, Hon.Mosunmola Sangodara Deputy Chief Whip,Hon.Rotimi Olowo,Hon.Ibrahim Layorde,Hon.Temitope Adewale,Hon.Akeem Sokunle,Hon.Ajani Owolabi and Hon.Nureni Akinsanya. 

The Deputy Majority Leader urged the State Government and the house to take decisive steps on the matter as he hinted that dredgers in spite of various complaints and while the lockdown subsists still continued dredging activities in areas across the state especially Sangotedo in Eti Osa constituency I.

“I just want to buttress my point to tell our people that when it comes to the issue of dredging,you will agree with me that it requires expertise,caution and proper monitoring. 

“In a situation whereby there is no caution or monitoring we will fall into a dangerous and disastrous situation. What I want to say is this, in my constituency when we talk about the shorelines which includes; Alpha beach,going thru  Lafiaji,Okun Ajah,Okun Mopo the only link road is gradually being wiped out due to the ocean surge.

“I must state here today that my ancestral home and family house in Alpha Beach called okun Afa in Eti Osa local government today has been wiped away by the surge. 

“I want my colleagues to feel for us in Eti Osa along the shoreline because the water has wipe off the road link,our people in the riverine areas have called on me several times and I have series of petitions on my table.

” I want to say this also during  the lockdown period there were so many dredgers dredging in my community most especially in Sangotedo,the Chairman of that local government and the leader of that council called me to inform me that they are working even during the lock down . 

“We need the attention of this house, we need the attention of Lagos State government,we need to put on hold dredging activities not only in my constituency but throughout the shorelines,because NIMET also has predicted that we would have not less than 240 to 270 days rain in Lagos State within the months of March to November. 

 “If this dredging activities should continue it will continue to affect my own constituency, LASEMA DG Dr. Femi Osahintolu gave an empirical analysis stating local government areas  with high risk of flooding measured in kilometers.

” Eti Osa local government with 133.59km of its 168.3km total land area has the highest, 79 percent of its land mass listed as black spot. Out of 168km, 133km will be affected what will be remaining after? Please Mr Speaker we want the state government and this honourable house to come to our aid in Eti Osa.”

The lawmakers took turns to corroborate the thrust of the motion,citing why the activities of dredgers is fast becoming dreadful rather than helpful as it was originally meant to stem the tides on waterways.

Hon. Fatal Mojeed representing Ibeju Lekki constituency I,hinted that there are a number of communities within his constituency which are worse off,owing to the activities of the dredgers to an extent that Brilla FM a popular sport radio station had to relocate laying off many of its staffers from the area.

“The dredgers are overconcentrated in Awoyaya,Bogije,Langbasa within my constituency,many of them have not complied with necessary directives, payment of haulage fee to the state and local government have been discountenanced and flooding has led to loss of properties there,even students could not access there institution of learning due to the surge.”

Hon.Desmond Elliott in his contribution noted that dredging was done to keep sediments from building up, and to prevent flooding,adding that there is something wrong with the modalities and urging the house sets up a committee to look into the matter.

Hon.Gbolahan Yishawu however, counseled that better interpretation be sort from the Attorney General of the state to clear the grey areas as it affects NIWA act, which ceded 100metres land to the NIWA along the shoreline. 

Hon.Folajimi Mohammed however counseled that the state might have to revert back to original form “where we issue dredging and stockpiling licence”.

He noted that in Ajah there are multiple people having stockpiling licence, within same proximity and hydrological survey is no longer in place,with the proliferation of illegal dredgers.

Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu who chairs house committee on Land states his worries that this development  might portend dearth of land for building affordable houses along the coastline.

The Speaker however, ruled that it is important to check the activities of unregistered dredger,have a list of registered dredgers as well as assessing the dredgers responsibility level.

“On this note we set up another committee to be headed by Victor Akande,Kasunmu,

Desmond Olushola,Nureni Akinsanya, Setonji,Ajani Owolabi and Jimi Mohammed to report back in two weeks.

Earlier the house received a letter from theAttorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo, calling the attention of the State House of Assembly to few observations on the recently passed Laws.

 The Clerk read it during plenary for prompt ammendment of certain sections by the legislature to further ease Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration of the state.

The secrions are sections 2 subsection (1,3, 2b) 4 subsection (2) and section 5 of the Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic in 

Lagos State and for Connected Purposes and section 20 subsection (1,3) of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps law.

Onigbanjo urged the House to look into the observation and amend as appropriate, as that 

would enable Governor Sanwo-Olu to carry his responsibilities effectively.

The Speaker Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa afterwards asked that the House Committee on Health considers the observation on the COVID-19 law while the House committee on Information Security and Strategy looks through the observation on the Amotekun law and report back on Thursday, 7th of May the next adjourned date.

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