• Monday, December 04, 2023
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N750m ecological fund: Lagos builds resettlement homes for flood victims


 The Lagos State government said on Thursday it was utilising the N750 million ecological fund it received from the Federal Government on the construction of blocks of flats at a resettlement centre at Agbowa in Epe area of the state.

The state also, however, decried the non-cooperative disposition of the Federal Government towards the Apapa regeneration plan, saying since the 2012 clean-up exercise which saw several petroleum tankers towed from Apapa-Oshodi expressway, and illegal shanties under the bridges in Apapa demolished, nothing had come from Abuja in support of the effort to reclaim Apapa.

Tunji Bello, Lagos State commissioner for the environment, responding to question on the Apapa regeneration, alleged that all promises made by the Federal Government including decisions reached with state on how to address the environmental challenges in Apapa had not been fulfilled, thereby leaving Lagos to shoulder the burden all alone.

“We are still waiting for response from the government since 2012 after the clearing exercise”, Bello said, adding, however, that Lagos is doing its bit by landscaping and giving the Apapa environment facelift.

It would be recalled, meanwhile, that hundreds of residents of Ajegunle, near Ikorodu, Lagos, were rendered homeless in 2010 when flood ravaged the area following the overflowing of Ogun/Oyo River. The state government had in the interim moved the flood victims to a temporary resettlement centre as part of efforts to alleviate their pain. The presidency had subsequently directed the release of N750 million ecological fund to the state to address the perennial flooding of the area.

Answering question on this, Bello said the fund is being judiciously put to use with the construction of resettlement housing units to give hope to the flood victims.

“We should be very proud of the government in this state. Lagos has used that money effectively; the construction is ongoing at Agbowa area of Epe Local Government Area. We are constructing blocks of flats, 1 and 2 units. One unit consists of 96 one bed room flats and 48 two-bedroom flats. His Excellency, Governor Babtunde Fashola, last week, conducted an inspection tour of the housing scheme where he expressed satisfaction at the level of work done so far.”

The commissioner explained that the scheme was for the rehabilitation of the internally displaced people (IDP) and that the ministry had done its enumeration to identify beneficiaries to be accommodated when the project is completed.