22nd November, 2010
The Lagos State Government of Nigeria has vowed to prosecute illegal dredgers caughtÂ in the act, adding that the state would not take lightly the activities of peopleÂ that could cause major environmental havoc in the state.
Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru saidÂ the continued dredging on the state’s shorelines was capable of causing majorÂ environmental challenges for the state.
Oniru directed all individuals and corporate bodies to obtain the permit for anyÂ form of reclamation from his ministry before they could be allowed to carry out anyÂ form of dredging in the state.
â€œLet me warn that anyone who fails to obtain the necessary permit will beÂ prosecuted under the enabling law provided by the state on dredging, sand fillingÂ and land reclamation for the regulation of waterfront infrastructure development inÂ Lagos State as enacted and signed into law by the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde RajiÂ Fashola,â€ he said.
According to him, the warning had become necessary as a result of incessant illegalÂ land reclamation from the water bodies in order to gain more space or reclaimationÂ of swampsÂ which were affecting the water bodies negatively.
â€œIf these illegal activities are not properly monitored and regulated, it willÂ lead to a major environmental problem which may have a multiplier effect on areasÂ which were hitherto not prone to flooding.
“It could also have an adverse effect on the tourism potential which the waterÂ bodies such as ocean, lagoon and streams provide in the state,â€ he added.