• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo


Lagos Calabar highway: FG targets N1.67trn revenue in 15 years

Coastal Highway: FG’s bulldozer starts work on properties Saturday

By Chuka Uroko and Abubakar Ibrahim

The Federal Government of Nigeria has set its sights on a monumental financial goal, announcing plans to generate N1.67 trillion revenue in 15 years from the Lagos-Calabar coastal road project.

David Umahi, the minister of works, revealed this during a press briefing and stakeholders meeting on the Lagos-Coastal Highway projects, which took place in Lagos on Thursday.”

Read also: Lagos-Calabar coastal highway to cost N4bn per kilometre not N8bn – Umahi confirms

“Let me leave out the infrastructure along the corridor. Let me just concentrate on the tolls and I put 50,000 vehicles as an average passage on these toll points per day.

“I put N3,000 as an average cost. N3,000 because the cars could be like N1,500, and the big trucks could be like N5,000,” he said. “So, we put an average,” the minister said.

He added that “in 15 years, you make back the money,” dismissing calls that the cost budgeted for the road project was high.

According to the minister, there will be security at the toll gates and also some facilities like filling stations.

“At every point of tolling, we also have toll station where we have a kind of relief activities: the restaurants, filling stations, parking lots, and so on and so forth,” he said, adding, “so, people will now have confidence; in these sections, we intend to put CCTV all through.”

Meanwhile, Umahi said the Lagos-Calabar coastal road construction will take eight years and cost N4 billion per kilometre.

When asked the duration of the project Umahi said, “We are looking at eight years in the life tenure of Mr President,” adding that the government’s prudence made that possible.

“You know, there are other projects not awarded by me that are also going for about N4 billion per kilometre. So, I will pride myself, to the glory of God, that this project is the most prudent project that I’m starting.

“Other projects I made, we are reviewing, we are fighting, and we’re trying to review, the cost. Well, I cannot sign my signature on that because it can come down, it can go up.’’

On the issue of damages, he said that the compensation process for property owners along the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway route will be based on the Federal Government’s approved rates.

According to him, the repayment structure to those affected will be fair and transparent, but of a non-negotiable amount. “By next week Wednesday, we will know how much compensation will be paid, and it will be paid according to the rates gazetted by the Federal Government.”

Read also: Umahi counters Atiku, promises full disclosure of Lagos-Calabar costal highway costs

“From Wednesday, I will appoint a committee that is going to review the remuneration to be sure that what is on paper is what is on ground.

“So, we are going to call people as much as possible, starting from Monday, to come and know if these are their properties, and ensure that this is how much they are getting and so on and so forth,’’ he said.

Umahi said that a 30-day one-on-one engagement process would be conducted to confirm property ownership and claims.

According to him, all affected owners of various properties along the Coastal Highway will be paid within the 30 days of engagement.

“So, we will try to fast track it because the one-on- one engagement is going to be for 30 days, and I said that you will all be paid within the 30 days. The moment you are verified, and you sign, you are going to get your money in 30 days.

“I swore to uphold the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that constitution has not changed; so, whatever the constitution says in terms of rate is what we have to pay,” the minister added.