The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said that the Federal Government might re-design some portions of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that are susceptible to flooding.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday at the opening of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) national conference, he said the low level of some portions of the expressway was of concern to the Federal Government.
His words: “The possibility of having the Lagos-Ibadan expressway being washed away is a serious matter to the government. The thing about nature is that it is difficult to conquer but government will try to ensure things are done to curtail extent of damage. With particular reference to Lagos-Ibadan expressway, government will have to look at the design of those portions that are affected and probably begin to raise the level of the road at those points so that a lot of disruptions of traffic as well as destruction of property are not caused.”
Adamu also stated that government had perfected plans to rejuvenate some idle dams in the country, saying: “We have been looking at re-directing the usage of dams, especially those owned by the River Basins dams. This re-directing will entail using the dams for other purposes apart from the original purposes. So, if we can no longer use the land for the original purpose of hydro or irrigation, we would be able to use it for fish production.”
A former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Ogunbambi Adeniyi, who spoke on the failing state of the expressway, said some of the estates in the Isheri area of the road were being washed away while most of the inhabitants were moving to other areas due to constant flooding.
President of the NSE, Otis Anyaeji, said there was need for Nigeria to move swiftly to address the challenges associated with water provision in the face of tasks posed by climate change.
He stressed that with climate change, water distribution may become more irregular and disasters related to floods and droughts would occur ferociously in Nigeria.
The NSE chief noted that records, studies and surveys from the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) indicated that over the past 5,000 years in world history, more than 50,000 large dams have been constructed.
He called for increased synergy between the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in providing enough hydrological data to National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for dredging purposes.