Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), weekend maintained that climate change rather than the Eko Atlantic City project was the cause of the recent ocean surge at the Kuramo Beach.
The governor, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja during an interactive session with selected media executives, explained that the surge which claimed some lives and properties was as a result of natural occurrences around the world like hurricane, typhoon and advised the people to be prepared for such occurrences along the coastline.
Fashola explained that the Eko Atlantic City project is a re-clamation of Lagos land that had been washed away over the years by the beach, saying the area that is housing the project was the place used to be known as the Bar Beach.
He gave a detailed background of what used to happen in the area before the colonial government built the Apapa port, saying it was the obstruction of nature through the building of two moles at the Apapa port that made the sea wash away the entire community.
"If you build a mole, you have interrupted that natural flow and has resulted to a situation that the beach started taking away more sand than it was depositing. The Europeans built an automated mechanized system to regulate the sand deposit but when they left, we abandoned it and then the erosion continued without control," he explained.
He said the sand replenishment exercise that is going on at Atlantic City now is a restoration of what used to be there before, adding that the State is not expanding but taking back what it has lost.
Fashola said in the past, the media was always awash with different stories and headlines about how the ocean had overflowed its banks and reached places like the Nigerian Law School at Akin Adesola and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) at Ahmadu Bello Way with even the IMB Plaza overlooking the Bar Beach becoming empty of human activity.
He recalled that the solution embarked upon then by the government at the centre was to pump sand every two years which was costing the nation about three to four billion naira.