25 March 2014, Lagos – Being a littoral state and the commercial hub of the country, Lagos has attracted more ships and vessels than any other city in Sub Saharan Africa since the Portuguese explorer Ruy de Sequeira named the area around the city Lago de Curamo, meaning lakes in Portuguese.
The influx of the vessels over the years has led to abandonment of several wrecked ships on Lagos waters.
The hazard of the abandoned ships has made the state government to threaten to prosecute owners of the abandoned vessels on its shoreline, which it said causes ecological damage.
This warning was given by Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) last week at the 6th Climate Change Summit, with the theme: ‘Exploring Business Opportunities in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Lagos State in Focus’.
Fashola stated that the government will engage professionals that will assist in identifying owners of such abandoned vessels to enable government pursue claims against them for ecological damage.
Also, Governor Fashola stated that the state government was doing all within its ambit to tap into the emerging opportunities across the world for insurance business to secure the risk of damage to public assets against events of nature that were once thought to be excluded risks.
He added that the government had developed many initiatives geared towards converting the adversity of nature into prosperity.
He listed such initiatives to include the Eko Atlantic City project which he claimed had employed over 2000 people; the Groin Construction project, Alausa, Lagos and Akute Power Projects that employed 259 people collectively.
President of the International Council for Local Environmental initiatives, Mr. David Cadman, at the summit emphasized the need for leaders at various levels in the country to explore the economic potentials of the impact of climate change.
He observed that two-third of the world stands at a risk of devastating consequences of environmental changes such as global warming and possible rise in water level.
He said the current population of the world, which stands at seven billion will soon rise to 10 billion explaining that Europe and America will have a billion population each while Asia and Africa will share the remaining eight billion in the ratio of five to three, adding that this indicate that Africa and Asia will determine the sustainability of the plan of action.
Cadman suggested a paradigm shift in energy generation from generating sets to bio-gas, wind, solar and geo-thermal while efforts should also be stepped-up in massive tree planting.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello said: “We have implicit belief that by the end of it all better adaptive and mitigating measures arrived at will present friendly environment for business and economic opportunities in tackling climate change issues.”