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FG begins demolition of properties affected by construction of Lagos – Calabar Coastal Highway, assures no delay in payment of compensation

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Jacob Ogodo Abakaliki


The Minister of Works, Chief David Nweze  Umahi has reassured  that there would  be no delay in the payment  of compensation to the property owners entitled to compensation on the demolition of properties  that were required  to give way for the construction  of Lagos – Calabar coastal highway .


Umahi gave this assurance  during  the flag-off of the demolition  of properties  affected  by the right of way on section  1 of  the  Lagos- Calabar Coastal Highway  being handled by Hitech Construction Company Ltd.


In a statement issued by the special adviser, Media to the Minister, Uchenna Orji said that the Committee of  the Federal Ministry of Works on  Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway,  Section  1 Compensation,  headed by Engr. Olukorede Iyabo Kesha  works round the  clock  to ensure  that payment  of compensation to the affected  property  owners begins in  earnest  in a matter of days.


He maintained that the demolition  was  going  to have a pure human  face and  with the utmost  fear of  God Almighty  and commitment  to the Renewed Hope agenda  of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in their infrastructural development  in particular .


The  Minister stated that the Federal Government  was   passionate about the plight of the people  and would, in the exercise  of the right of way, put a human face in the demotion of properties  that were required  to give way for the construction  of the coastal highway, noting that the Federal Government was  considering the most economically viable way to pass the coastal road without much damages.


He however  called on all those to be affected  by the demolition  exercise  to take it as a sacrifice for the  ultimate  impact of the project on the economic  prosperity  of the nation, adding that the socio- economic  benefits  of the project, including the money it will save for businessmen and women  and the stability it would bring  to the economy.


“I wish to flag-off this demolition  exercise to get a right  of way within  the coastal corridor  which  is the legitimate  right  of the Federal Government.”


“We are doing  some minor adjustments, and our commitment  is to stay  within the coastline. When the initial  demolition order was passed to all the affected  investors, so to speak, I graciously  increased  the period  to another  seven days and yet another 4 days, and here we are because the project stopped because  of the part of  this demolition .


“For those playing  poltics  with the economic  enhancing  project, he said, “Those who are playing  poltics with this can go ahead. My job is simple, just to pass the coastal  road and those who are into politics  can continue..”


Speaking  during  the event, one of the affected  property  owners, Mr.  Balaji Ariyo said  the demolition  would no doubt  affect  his business  but he had no option than  to make  sacrifice for the greater good of millions of  Nigerians  whose livelihood  would  be impacted  by the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway  which has a spur that connects South to North.


He urged all those to be affected  by this critical infrastructure  to see it as a sacrifice  for the good of all Nigerians.


He said, “some of us are affected, no doubt about it. But some of us are not up to 0.1% of the millions of people that we enjoy the coastal road. That’s why someone  like me and some others also have taken it to heart to also support Mr. President and the Honourable Minister to ensure that this road comes to life.”


He noted that the coastal highway  has the potential  to create  greater  vistas of opportunities  for  businesses and other human development initiatives that would  benefit a greater number of Nigerians.


He said,  “As humans, those affected  will feel  the pain, but the future  of the country  must be put first.And some of us are paying the price in good faith. So we are human, we feel the pain. But at the same time, if you look at the longer picture, you realize that it’s the benefit of everyone.


“It’s more than the benefit of one person. Yes, we are sitting on a lot of money, a lot of money being recouped here. But at the same time, it is not  worth the enjoyment or the free access of every other Nigerian that will apply the road. So Mr. Minister has already lectured me so well and has consoled me so many times.”


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