The Chairman, Foundation for Development and Environment Initiatives, Mr. Akin Mabogunje, has harped on the environmental challenges facing Lagos megacity, with a call for redress to avoid crisis.
He said the two factors contributing to the challenges were the peculiarities of its coastal location and its low lying physiographic site, on which most of its urbanisation has taken place.
Mabogunje, who was a guest lecturer at the recent 1st Oye Williams Biennial Lecture organised by the Nigeria-Spanish Association (NISPA) in Lagos, explained that the peculiarities of coastal location of the State arose from its length of 2,400 miles stretching from Cape Verde to Mount Cameroun.
He further noted that political leaders in the past messed up Lagos from being what it ought to have been by now, and expressed happiness that the state government was trying so far to meet up with the challenges facing the state.
He pointed out that the state, during the colonial period, was always going up in flames due to the thatched roofs of most of the buildings then causing more environmental hazards to the state and the citizenry respectively.
Mabogunje maintained that the then-Governor-General, Mr. Lord Lugard, made sure that every urban city ought to be categorised, but at the end, it was only Lagos that was able to meet up with the raising of its own revenue as authorised by Lugard.
He said other features that have been making the dream of a megacity in Lagos difficult include illegal structures by people without proper planning and the Local Government Area reform, pollution in terms of enormous solid waste, decaying petroleum pipelines, sewage disposal, pollution from industries and agricultural effluent discharge.
He, however, hinted that the initiative by the Bola Tinubu administration to re-invent the megacity project was as a result of investors in the state threatening to leave due to the problems of transportation, sanitation and security respectively.