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Ecology office condemns delayed dredging of Lagos channels, inspects work on LUTH sewage system

The Ecology Project Office (EPO) has condemned the delayed dredging and channelisation of the Tejuosho/Canal railway projects in Lagos State.

Lagos Canal
A canal in Lagos

Permanent Secretary of the EPO, Malam Shehu Musa, expressed dissatisfaction over the delayed progress of the project on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, in Lagos.

The EPO under the auspices of Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) was on a site inspection of project interventions.

The dredging of the Tejuosho/Canal Railway is part of the efforts of the EPO on flood control and soil erosion prevention during the rainy season.

“This is the essence of the physical on-the-site inspection to be engaged by the ecological project office.

“As you can observe, the progress of this project is slow; we have already summoned the contractor to the office to explain to us the reason for this delay.

“The quality of the work is poor and as you can observe, looking at the situation alone everything is unkempt nothing is even going on here.

“When the contractor comes to the office, we will sit down with him and have proper discussion on the way forward to keep this project going.

“This delay has definitely slowed down our intervention efforts to prevent flooding across the country because this project should have been completed by now.

“This project should have been done even before the rain starts, we are already in February and maybe before March the rains will begin and further slow down the project.

So, much time has been wasted,” Musa said.

He, however, disclosed that appropriate sanctions would be meted out on the contractors for the delay in the execution of the project.

“This is a project that was awarded two years or three years ago and they were supposed to have completed it within a year.

“Now, it is more than three years and the level of completion is not even up to 25 per cent.

“This is an eye opener for us and we will intensify our efforts in inspecting and monitoring interventions being sponsored by the Ecology Project Office across the country.

“I think because they observed that we were coming for inspection, they were able to upscale some of the work but that is not what should have been done.

“This drainage channelling is meant to ameliorate flooding incidents across this area, especially in Tejuosho, Bode Thomas and the Surulere axis.

“There will definitely be sanctions on the contractors for the delay and the small slow progress of this project,” Musa said.

Meanwhile, the EPO has commended the progress recorded at the ongoing construction of a six-kilometre sewage pipeline system at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.

The Federal Government sponsored project under the auspices of the Ecological Project Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) is almost near completion.

Speaking at the on site inspection of the project, Malam Shehu Musa, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office, commended the project progress and expressed optimism that would amelioration the sewage problems at the teaching hospital.

“Anybody that has gone round this facility will really appreciate what the Federal Government is doing in communities.

“This project is something we are very proud of, and you can also see the quality of job that is ongoing here. We are looking forward for the project to ameliorate the problems that exist here.

So far, the progress of the project at LUTH is commendable and in the next two to three weeks, we look forward to its inauguration,” Musa said.

He also promised that more ecological project interventions would be approved as the need arises with availability of funds.

“Well, as I always say, the Ecological Project Office is one office that the public has confidence in because it’s an office that anybody has an access to.

“You just make your request and we will come in to see what we can do. Presently, we have so many requests, over 3,000 in our data bank to take care of.

“However, our major challenge is fund, what we have and the level of intervention will depend on the fund available to us,” Musa said.

In his response, the Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, applauded the efforts of government in coming to the rescue of the hospital’s community with the sewage project intervention.

“As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we want to thank the Federal Government for our sewage pipeline system for both the Lagos University Hospital and the College of Medicine.

“The sewage system in LUTH has been in existence for over 50 years. And inevitably, they became overworked.

“In fact, what we have here is the old sewage treatment plant, it broke down and we are barely coping by simply doing some chemical treatment of sewage.

“LUTH houses over 10,000 people, its a whole village on its own and we just chemically treat the sewage before we discharge it into the canal.

“When discharged it constitutes some environmental hazards. So, we had to approach the Ecological Fund at the Presidency. The reception we got there was amazing, we did not need to know anybody.

“You can see what they have done, over six kilometres of sewage pipeline have been replaced. And we are getting a brand new sewage treatment plant.

“As a community, we are very happy, it’s a happy day for us and for communities that live downstream to us, they will not be exposed to any hazards again.

“So, I must use this opportunity, therefore, to thank Mr President, the Secretary General of the Federation, the Permanent Secretary and everybody that made this possible,” Bode said.

The contractors of the project, Emeka Udokporo of Flab Engineering Services Ltd., said that the project would be delivered as soon as possible.

“The project is almost 100 per cent completed, we are almost at the end of the project.

“Once the treatment plan comes, within the next two to three weeks we will be ready to set-up and train those to operate it,” Udokporo said.

By Mercy Omoike

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