Some parts of Lagos including highbrow areas like Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Banana Island and Lekki among others, were recently ravaged by massive floods and experts have analysed the economic and environmental implications it may pose to these areas.
While some have raised fears that the floods will greatly affect the real estate market in the affected areas, others also fear that petroleum products in filling stations’ storage facilities located in those areas may have been contaminated.
Real estate experts, including land and estate surveyors and valuers, as well as town planners, have said the massive flooding in Lekki, Ajah, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, will lead to a reduction in the appetite of prospective tenants and property buyers.
According to Kola Akomolede, the Vice President, Africa Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation, many people would be discouraged from buying or building properties in flood-prone areas of Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and others.
Generally, Akomolede noted that the floods would have a significant effect on a country with an acute shortage of accommodation.
“If it were in a country where there are several other choices, people will move en masse from Lekki and Victoria Island axis. We are not likely to see that kind of movement because there are no alternatives,” Akomolede told the PUNCH.
According to him, some properties may remain unlet or unsold for some time, because of the flooding issue, “that is supposed to bring down prices or rent,” he added.
The Principal Partner, Ubosi Eleh & Co, an estate surveying and valuation firm, Mr. Chudi Ubosi, also said with the flooding, people would worry a lot about buying properties in Lekki and would be a lot more circumspect and careful about what they buy.
“Developers will also be a lot more cautious about development, creating adequate channels as much as they can for water to run off,” Ubosi said.
On the other hand, a top official in one of the fuel marketing companies in Lagos expressed fears that the fuel in the underground tanks in some of the stations in the affected areas would have been contaminated with water, and this could damage car engines.
“Some stations may not want to go through the process of draining the water. Lekki, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, among others, are prime areas and that is why we have many standard stations along that line. There are stations that sell one truck a day” the source said.
The Vice President and Head of Energy Research, Ecobank, Mr. Dolapo Oni, noted that most filling stations were using underground tanks to store petroleum products, saying:
“The basic worry is how much of the tanks have been affected. How much petrol could have been adulterated or contaminated with water? What have stations done to reduce the risk of contamination by water?”
According to the Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, “We have our environment, health, safety and quality departments that will look at everything. For major marketers, before we send one litre out, we have made sure that the product meets every standard.
“If any marketer goes to his station after the flood would have receded, he will check everything; no marketer would sell fuel adulterated with water.”
Following a random check by officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who inspected fuel stations affected by the recent floods, some petrol tanks and filling stations around Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki were consequently sealed off.
Concerned about the devastating effects of the flood on fillings stations, officials of the DPR moved in to check their tanks to ensure the products were not mixed with water.
From Victoria Island to Ikoyi and later to Lekki, the officials took their time to check all the tanks at each of the filling stations visited. They didn’t hesitate to seal off and in some cases shut down the fuel station and stopped them from dispensing to innocent buyers.
However, while residents still lament and count their losses from the flood, the Lagos state government has reiterated its resolve to find lasting solutions to the issue of flooding.