Lagos To Demolish Makoko Floating School


The Lagos State Government says it will demolish the three-storey floating school built on Makoko waterfront the school is illegal.

The government also said it needs N16 billion to remove the 200 wrecked ships on its coastline.

Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru disclosed this on Thursday at a ministerial press conference, saying that the floating school was illegal as it had no approved plan.

The school, known as Makoko Floating School, is being built by Kunle Adeyemi, a Nigerian entrepreneur.

On completion, about 100 children who live on the Makoko Waterfront will have the opportunity to learn under the roof of the school.

According to Oniru, “it’s an illegal structure, it shouldn’t be there, and we are trying to get rid of structures there. It’s not a project that has been abandoned, various bodies have gone to court, and we stand to be corrected. I can’t say much because there is a legal case on ground. It’s without the knowledge and permit of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development as well as Ministry of Water Front and Infrastructure.

“It’s been illegal from day one. He waited until there was legal issue in the Makoko area before he started putting the school up. We were not going to do things against the law which would have been seen as contempt of court, so he carried on and brought in CNN to show the illegal floating school. Once things are sorted out, we would do what we have to do. If he got money to waste, let him continue, we would do what we have to do.”

Also, Oniru disclosed that there are about 200 wrecked ships abandoned on the Lagos’s coastline, saying they pose serious danger to life and property as they could trigger ocean surge, adding that the government would need about N16 billion to remove them.

He stated that the abandoned vessels on the coastline stretch from Badagry to Epe, saying aggravating coastal erosion and ocean surge.

“Several letters have been written to the presidency since the days of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan yet, no response.

“Attempts by the state government to remove some of the vessels to avert danger to the affected communities have been blocked the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), which have the responsibility, in the first place, to ensure the removal of these abandoned vessels,” he explained.

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The commissioner added that in its determined efforts to address incessant ocean surge along some parts of the coastal area in the state, the government has concluded plans to construct 18 Groynes (sea breakers) at intervals of 400m along the entire length of the Atlantic coastline.

He stated that the project was intended to prevent destruction of life and property, especially between Goshen Estate and Alpha Beach.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government says about 6,131 cases of motorcycle related accidents were treated at the various public hospitals in Lagos between January 2012 and March 2013.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris revealed this Wednesday at a joint press conference with Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, saying that 148 deaths were recorded between the period, adding peak cases of 696 and 646 were recorded in February and August 2012 respectively.

Idris said that motorcycle related accidents and deaths had been on the decline since September last year, a month after the Road Traffic Law was enacted in the state, explaining that “for example in the first three months of 2012,a total of 1,833 cases were recorded whereas only 415 were recorded between January and March this year.

“Also, the 696 cases for February 2012 have steadily declined to 126 in March 2013 while 47 cases involving death recorded in the first three months of 2012 have reduced to 4 from January to March 2013.The law has brought some order, safety and security to the state. The government would continue to do its best to ensure we achieve zero motorcycles related accidents at all times,” he stated.”

Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa said that the implementation of the traffic law had help reduce traffic violations from 29 per cent in July 2012 to 5 per cent in March 2013, adding that applications for drivers‘ license had also increased by 170.6 per cent while BRT lane violations had decreased by 74.2 per cent in the past nine months year.

“This is an encouraging development and what that means is that we now have safer drivers and safer vehicles. And if you have safer drivers and safer vehicles and with what we are doing with the Ministry of Works, and the Public Works Corporation in the area of road maintenance, we will surely have safer roads.

“The other thing we now look at is the total number of violations, how many people are committing traffic offences. We saw that it has started to decline, and that means more people are beginning to understand what not to do.

“Unfortunately, as soon as we got to January, that figure began to climb to where it used to be, and that means we need to do more of enforcement. I want to appeal to motorists and other road users to respect our traffic law. We have done advocacy, we will soon begin enforcement to ensure the law is taken seriously,” he said.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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