A University Don, in the Department of Zoology, University of Ilorin, Professor Moshood Keke Mustapha, has called for the establishment of National Lake Service and National Lake Commission in Nigeria.
Professor Moshood of the Faculty of Life Sciences, in the university, said the commission, when established, would regularly inspect, survey, protect, maintain and manage Nigeria’s lakes for safety, hazardous conditions, susceptibility to failure, and record keeping among others.
Delivering the 210th inaugural lecture of the university, themed ‘Man-Made Lakes: A Means of Eradicating Man-Made Poverty,’ Professor Moshood, explained that the bill which established National Climate Change Commission, should be signed into law immediately due to the perceived effects of climate change on every sphere of our life.
He argued that the legal framework for the planning, development, regulation and management of man-made lakes in Nigeria should be strengthened to deliver their functions sustainably.
He recommended among others that the government develop the lakes for inland waterways navigation to complement the highways, saying it will aid development of the communities along the waterways through provision of basic amenities and citing industries.
Professor Moshood, while explaining the value of lakes to humanity, asserted that the cost of developing and maintaining waterways is 80percent lower than that of highways.
He said guided recreational activities such as sport, fishing, angling, swimming, diving, boating, bird watching, sightseeing, picnicking and camping should be superimposed and strengthened on these lakes to generate employment, income, revenue and tourism.
He however, noted that “just like other man-made structures, man-made lakes undergo wear and tear,” adding that ” they should be removed or demolished as a result of aging, blockage, cracks, seepage, obsoleteness, inadequate management and faulty design.”
Professor Moshood advised the University of Ilorin, to make more judicious use of her lake for teaching, research, community service, tourism, recreation and revenue generation by proper management of the lake and its vast resources.
He said since it is man that needs lakes, ” man should be benevolent to the lakes by protecting, preserving, conserving and managing them and their vast resources to enable him reap the dividends of the lakes in providing livelihood and sustenance for today and the future needs and in eradicating Man-Made poverty.”