• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Clash of interests, litigation stop Osborne ferry terminal development


Clash of interests between Lagos State government and a private concern is standing against further development and completion of the multi-billion Osborne ferry terminal in Ikoyi, Lagos. The Osborne terminal is one of many others being built by the state government in its unfolding inter-modal transportation system that will see to the linkage of water, road and rail. Upon the full take off of the system, a passenger traveling in a train may alight at a point, board a ferry to the next point and eventually arrives his destination with a bus, if he so desires. Other ferry terminals are those in Ikorodu, Mile 2, Ebute Ojo, Badore, among others. While the Ikorodu and Badore terminals have been completed and Mile 2 fully rehabilitated awaiting the arrival of ferries, the Osborne terminal which construction started more than four years ago has become a subject of litigation, preventing the government from going ahead to deliver the project.

BusinessDay gathered that a resident of Ikoyi Gardens Estate, an estate close to the site of the project, has instituted an action in court challenging the location of the project which he claimed would affect his property. The litigant has obtained an injunction stopping further construction of the terminal. Also affected is another project, Woodland, also being undertaken by the government within that precincts. But the government is insisting it will not allow private interest to jeopardise public interest. “A situation where private rights could suspend the interest of the public in the administration of justice is a strange development,” said Governor Babatunde Fashola, during a visit to the site. According to the governor, “These are buildings that really did not exist here when we started this project and it is really interesting that somebody can now go to court to complain about a terminal that he met when he started constructing and say that it is going to disturb his building”.

He noted that his administration started construction of the ferry terminals about three or four years ago as a way of addressing the state’s transport challenge and in furtherance of the administration’s inter-modal transportation, adding that two of the terminals- Badore ferry terminal and Ikorodu ferry terminal had been completed. “Since we started all of these terminals, I think three or four years ago, it has been one land dispute after the other and settling them and just when this building was finishing, buildings that don’t even exist here, that we gave building permits to construct and develop, now say they don’t want a terminal”, he said. Governor Fashola described as a strange development a situation where private rights could override the interest of the public in the administration of justice adding, “but interestingly that person has obtained a court injunction stopping us from further constructing. I don’t know how the law works that way”.