Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said the the state will need N26bn over the next three years to combat the frequent ocean surges.
Fashola spoke on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the fifth climate change summit at Victoria Island, Lagos.
The governor said although efforts of the state government had seen about N6bn committed to the protection of the state’s shoreline so far, more still needed to be done to ensure that the water would no longer overshoot its boundary.
He said the ocean surge which hit Kuramo Beach in 2012 took the government unawares as there was no budget provision to mitigate its effects.
The governor said, “In the implementation of last year’s budget, we did not conceive that the uncompleted part of the Eko Atlantic City would be overrun by the ocean. The Kuramo surge last year took away walls of properties from the end of Ahmadu Bello Way right down to Alpha Beach.
“We didn’t budget for that, we didn’t see it coming, but what did we do? In the last quarter of the year, we called all the departments together that everybody must contribute some capital so that we can start an urgent protection of all of the properties on the road.
“But it gladdened my heart when we went there last week and we saw that the shoreline that was encroaching on the fences of those properties is now receding and giving residents a breather.”
Fashola explained that the Eko Atlantic City project had contributed to protecting properties within the Victoria Island area from being overrun by the ocean.
He said, “If the project has not been started, we will not have been here today. Many of the houses that were abandoned and real estate have come back, jobs have returned to that coastline.”
He said the Climate Change Summit was a sincere call for all to begin to adapt to the threats of climate change, adding that natural disaster was fast killing more people than war.
The governor said, “We are in a constant battle and nature will continue to fight back, we need to slow down and change the way we do some things, that’s the heart of the adaptability and what this summit addresses. Once we agree to slow down on some things, nature will also pull back.”
Earlier, Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, said the government was committed to the development and evolvement of a climatechange-conscious society. He said such consciousness would lay the foundation necessary to counteract global threat.