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Lagos Assembly Set Up Committee To Deal With Illegal Dredging Activities – Naijanewsdirect


… Set To Amend Amotekun, COVID-19 Prevention Laws

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 shorelines of the state.

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 to the House in two weeks.

This came up during a recent plenary.

The committee was formed after a Motion of Urgent Matter Of 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, which he said clearly posed imminent threat to the lives of the residents.

Adams the prime mover of the motion, listed the team of lawmakers that joined him on the motion to include; the Chief Whip, Hon. Mojisola Meranda, Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Ibrahim Layode, 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 in spite of various complaints and while the lockdown subsisted, dredgers still continued their activities across the state especially in 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 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 today 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.

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

“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 the council called to inform me that the dredgers were working even during the lockdown period.

“We need the attention of this House, we need the attention of the 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 of rainfall in Lagos State within the months of March and November.

“If this dredging activities should continue it will continue to affect my own constituency. The Director General of LASEMA, Dr. Femi Osahintolu gave an empirical analysis stating that 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 is listed as black spot. Out of 168km, 133km will be affected, what will be remaining? Please, Mr. Speaker, we want the state government and this honourable house to come to our aid in Eti Osa.”

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The lawmakers took turns to corroborate the thrust of the motion, citing why the activities of dredgers was 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 were a number of communities within his constituency, which he said were worse off owing to the activities of the dredgers, adding that to an extent that Brilla FM, a popular sport radio station, which was in the area, had to relocate and laid off many of its staffers from the area.

“The dredgers are over-concentrated in Awooyaya, Bogije, Langbasa within my constituency. Many of them have not complied with necessary directives, while 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 schools due to the surge,” he said.

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

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

Hon. Folajimi Mohammed, on his part, counseled that the state should revert to original form “where we issue dredging and stockpiling licences.”

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

Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu, who chairs the House Committee on Land, stated that the development might portend dearth of land for building of affordable houses along the coastline.

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The Speaker of the House however, 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.

“On this note we are setting up another committee on the issue to be headed by Victor Akande, while members are Hon. Richard Kasunmu, Hon. Desmond Eliot, Hon. Nureni Akinsanya, Hon. Setonji David, Hon. Ajani Owolabi and Hon. Jimi Mohammed and they were directed to report back to the House in two weeks.

The House had earlier received a letter from the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the state, Hon. Moyosore Onigbanjo, calling the attention of the State House of Assembly to some of the laws that were recently passed by the House.

The Clerk read the observations during plenary for prompt amendment of certain sections by the legislature to further ease the work of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state.

The sections are sections 2 subsection (1,3, 2b) 4 subsection (2) and section 5 of the Law on Combating and Stoping 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 observations and amend them as appropriate, saying that this would enable Governor Sanwo-Olu to effectively carry out his responsibilities.

The Speaker Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa afterwards directed that the House Committee on Health should consider the observation on the COVID-19 Law, while the House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy should look through the observation on Amotekun Law and report to the House on Thursday, 7th of May, the next adjourned date.

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Tunde Ogunmola
'Tunde Ogunmola Executive Editor/CEO (OBAT CONNECTS CONCEPTS) Publishers of Naija News Direct) Tel: 08055102893, 08121661774 (WhatsApp)