Six months after a presidential directive to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) to remove a ship wrecked at the shore of the Lekki beach, nothing has been done about it yet. The wreck still lies there, rusting away.
Lekki is the playground of billionaires. It used to be known as Maroko and was inhabited by hoi polloi. Maroko was reclaimed from the sea and turned to Lekki, where the rich have choice properties. The booming real estate trade in Lekki is under threat. It is being threatened by the sea from which it emerged.
The Lekki investments run into billions of naira, both by the public and the private sectors. But all that seems at risk as the ocean waves pound the seashore, gradually eating into the developed land.
The existence of abandoned ships is fast aiding coastal erosion. Experts fear that if the wrecks are not removed soon, Lekki, as it stands, may be history.
Speaking to a group of journalist during a visit to the scene of the wreck, an environmental activist and board member, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mr Desmond Majekodunmi, said the ships ran aground about 2 years ago and 40 metres which translates to about six kilometres along the coast have been lost because the government and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) refused to act.
Majekodunmi added that the ships are causing erosion and uprooting trees that keep the soil and ocean beam together while warning that as the raining season beckons if nothing is done urgently, in six months, a couple of billion naira Lekki real estate will be gone, including the concessioned Lekki/Eti-Osa Road and Lekki will go under.
He wondered why NIMASA has ignored the order given by President Goodluck Jonathan when he visited the site 6 months ago directing the Maritime agency to remove the wrecks immediately.