Ado Road, Badore property at risk of collapse

Dre dging activities taking place in the community

Dredging activities taking place in the community

Residents seek end to sand dredging
It took the recent boat mishap in Ikorodu area of Lagos State for the activities of sand dredgers to come to light when boat operators blamed the activities of the dredgers for the boat that capsized at a dredging point enroute Badore, Ajah jetty.

Presently, residents of Ado, Badore and Langbassa communities in Ajah are up in arms with sand miners operating along the lagoon front that encircles the area. Their concerns are protection of the environment, their massive investment in properties, which may begin to cave in the nearest future, and most especially the Ado road, the only access route linking the densely populated communities to Lekki-Ajah expressway.

The road, which was recently constructed by the Lagos State government, is constantly under stress due to the activities of the sand miners, who uses their trucks to make an already bad traffic situation worse. It takes usually between two to three hours to ply the road, which is less than a five minutes drive.

Narrating his ordeal to The Guardian, Mr. Sam Uche, a resident, said: “Everyday, trucks ferrying loads of sand dredged from the ocean, drip wet sand onto the tarred road. As a result, the road undulates because of the excessive deposit of sand, which becomes heated by the sun and forms a hard layer over the asphalt.

“Also, the risk of flooding is very high because the sand that is supposed to break the surge of the ocean is being removed all the time, exposing structures along the shoreline to grave danger,” he said.

A community leader, who took The Guardian round some of the sites he termed the sand holes of Ajah, said Lagos faces grave environmental disaster if the activities of the sand miners are not checked. “The depth of where they are mining is now so deep that sand is being pulled out from the road’s underbelly. The road is in danger and it may collapse soon.

“Taxpayers cannot keep on paying taxes for the government to expend unnecessarily on issues that require proper oversight management and regulation. The next thing we will hear is that the road is impassable and the government will award huge sums of money to a construction company for its rehabilitation,” he lamented.

On February 2, 2016, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode ordered sand dredgers operating in waterways in the state to stop their operations and vacate the sites immediately, but the order is yet to be complied with in Badore.

The Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure, Mr. Ade Akinsanya, who relayed the governor’s order, said: “Ambode has ordered that all sand dredgers in Lagos State should stop operations immediately. The idea is to ensure adequate security of lives and property in the state.

Dredgers also need to renew their operational permit annually, but majority of them have not renewed their permit for many years.”

When asked why the activities of dredgers have continued unabated, the commissioner in a text message said government is deeply concerned about the damage their activities are causing to the environment, especially public utilities, but promised that “an action would be taken soon.”

Some of the dredgers were seen at the weekend still working at the various sites, including Badore. They refused to comment on their activities but a source that is familiar with their operations, confided in The Guardian that all the operators had been given December 31, 2015 as deadline but it seems the state government is incapable of enforcing its order.

“I don’t know why government has not stopped the sand miners. I understand the issue is between the Federal and state government. All waterways belong to the Federal Government and they issue licenses to the operators. It will therefore be difficult for the state to carry out its threat, even now that it is the same political party controlling both the state and the federal,” the source hinted.

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  • Mike O

    If these miners can disobey the governors instructions and those who ought to enforce this instructions are looking the other way, it is certain that they have collected money (bribery) hence can not stop the miners.

    • Suleiman Alatise

      Or it could be they own the business..

  • Lemmuel Odjay

    Here we go again: “All waterways belong to the Federal Government and they issue licenses to the operators…” The same central government that had approved billions of naira for the “dredging of Lagos coastal region” since year 2008!
    Is ours truly a federal constitution? What really is federal about our Republic? Should not the federating regions or states be allowed to take control and be in charge of their waterways and to levy and collect appropriate rates for the improvement of their water fronts, for example?
    Why does the Federal Government want to be in the center of our lives always? Has it ever occurred to us that this could be one of the factors behind agitations for secession or autonomy by the federating regions whenever they nurse feelings about being left out of things?
    Nigeria needs to establish true federal structures and not run an absolute central governance system under our flawed electoral system that allows for the processes to be hijacked by a region and power so acquired used to undermine the aspirations of other members of the union.
    How could you be located at the center and still find the wherewithal to monitor development in every nook and cranny of this country populated by diverse people with their equally diverse cultures and aspirations? By making use of the police men and women whose salaries and welfare bills the states help you offset? Why run a parallel state house of assembly if it has no powers of making laws to contain such excesses as those carried out in its territory by sand dredgers, because those dredgers come under the control of a “central-federal” government that is physically located at Abuja!
    One of the consequences of ignoring the advice to have true federalism hold sway in Nigeria is that as a nation, we shall continue to survive on crisis after crisis such as Biafra and Boko Haram, to mention just a few.
    Lekki is awaiting another disaster because “all waterways belong to the FEDERAL! government” that is incapable, by choice, of taking any proactive action to nip a problem in the bud before damage is done. This is a reason behind our preference for the fire brigade approach to things that go wrong. That is what you get from governance at the center…

  • Dejandon

    That 4km road can take 3hours to drive through many times. No thanks to these trucks, narrowness of the road and also being the only access road for all that population there.