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Lagos Assembly inaugurates ad-hoc committee on illegal dredging

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The Lagos House of Assembly has passed a resolution to set up a seven-man ad hoc committee to look into the indiscriminate activities of dredgers along the shorelines of the state.

The Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, made the announcement during plenary on Wednesday.

He said the committee was expected to report to the House in two weeks.

The speaker said the committee, headed by Mr Victor Akande, had Mr Adedamola Kasunmu, Mr Desmond Elliott, Mr Nureni Akinsanya, Mr David Setonji, Mr Ajani Owolabi and Mr Jimi Mohammed as members.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee was formed after a motion of urgent matter of public importance was moved by the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Noheem Adams.

Adams explained that there was need to put on hold all dredging activities in the shorelines of the state, which, he said, clearly posed imminent threat to the lives of the residents.

He urged the state government and the House to take decisive steps on the matter.

“In spite of various complaints while the lockdown subsisted, dredgers still continued their activities across the state especially at 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.

“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 through Lafiaji, Okun Ajah, Okun Mopo the only link road is gradually being wiped out due to ocean surge.

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“I must state here that my ancestral home and family house in Alpha Beach called Okun Afa in Eti Osa Local Government has been wiped away by the surge,” he said.

Adams said he wanted his colleagues to feel for them in Eti-Osa along the shoreline because the water has wiped off the road.

He said his people in the riverine areas had called on him several times and that he had series of petitions on his table.

Mr Fatal Mojeed, representing Ibeju-Lekki Constituency I, said a number of communities within his constituency  were worse off owing to the activities of the dredgers.

Mojeed noted that a popular sport radio station, in the area, had to relocate and laid off many of its staff from the area.

The lawmaker said dredgers were over-concentrated in Awooyaya, Bogije, Langbasa within his constituency.

Contributing, Mr Desmond Elliott, Surulere II, noted that dredging was done to keep sediments from building up, and to prevent flooding.

Elliott said there was something wrong with the modalities and urged the House to set up a committee to look into the matter.

Mr Adedamola Kasunmu, representing Ikeja I, who chairs the House Committee on Land, said that the development might portend dearth of land for building of affordable houses along the coastline.

The speaker ruled that it was important to check the activities of unregistered dredgers, have a list of registered dredgers as well as assess the dredgers’ responsibility level. (NAN)

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