Posted on November 15, 2023
The Lagos State Government has applauded the readiness of the Kingdom of Netherlands to partner with the state in checking coastal erosion rapidly ravaging coastal areas, through the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) investment model.
The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Ekundayo Alebiosu, made the disclosure while playing host to the trade delegation, led by the Consular General of the Netherlands in Lagos, Nigeria, Michel Deleen. The trade delegation came to express their readiness to invest in Makoko, Okunde, Okun Ajah, and other Lagos coastal areas.
Alebiosu said coastal erosion is a serious issue that could lead to loss of land and property, as well as endangering lives. He also recognised that the kingdom of the Netherlands has been dealing with the issue for a long time, considering that their land is below sea level.
He said the Dutch have embraced numerous modern techniques to keep water at bay against the sea. He is, however, optimistic that the investment would assist the government in checking the surging erosion in Okunde, Lekki, Okun Ajah and areas in the state from going to extinction.
Ekundayo Alebiosu also assured the Dutch trade delegation that his team is working on a robust master plan, which would be an improvement on the current Waterfront Master Plan. He said the master plan would accommodate the concerns of all stakeholders and help investors like Invest International know the areas they can key into, as regards the PPP partnership.
“Over the years, our coastal communities have been challenged and devastated by ocean surge, especially the Okunde and Okun Ajah area in Lekki, with several houses destroyed and communities going to extinction. The depletion of these communities has also continued unabated due to ocean surge triggered by several activities along the coastline,” Alebiosu said.
Speaking earlier, the Consular General, Michel Deleen, said they came to see how they could partner with Lagos in checking coastal erosion, especially around Makoko and the Atlantic Ocean. He expressed his concerns about the sea surge that is affecting Lagos, which is also causing an environmental crisis.
Deleen also inquired about the state policy on waterfront and coastal areas, to see how they could key into the plan, as well as partnering on the Great Wall of Lagos project. He, therefore, proposed a PPP model, with which Lagos and the Netherlands could work to check the erosion ravaging the coastal areas.
The envoy said it was great to see that Lagos is taking steps to address this issue. The consular said the partnership would lead to innovative solutions that could be applied in Lagos.
On the Dutch delegation were Edwin van Veehuizen, the Strategy and Partnership Manager at Invest International, which is the platform that is pushing the investment, and the Policy Adviser/Economic Affairs and Public Diplomacy at the Consular of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Opeyemi Oriniowo. While the Permanent Secretary, Kehinde Gbajumo, and some key ministry officials attended on behalf of the state government.