• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Coastal Highway: FG pays N2.75bn compensation for demolished properties

Video: Lagos coastal highway demolition: FG flag off N2.75bn compensation to property owners

The Nigerian government on Wednesday paid N2.75 billion in compensation to property owners affected by the construction of the country’s single largest infrastructure project.

David Umahi, minister of works, disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, explaining that the N2.75 billion compensation was for properties on channel 0 to 3 kilometres that were demolished to pave way for the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

“These are tough decisions, but had to be taken for economic value,” Umahi said.

“A lot of people doubted that we will not pay, but we let them know that this is the regime of President Bola Tinubu. We initiated a lot of policies and we are witnessing results,” the minister added.

Those to be compensated include Landmark Group, Kids Club, Maxtivity, and Bolaji Areyoh who, the minister said, has the largest infrastructure affected, especially his Mami Chula Beach Lifestyle, among others.

Areyoh affirmed that, though the sacrifice is a huge one, the project will benefit a lot more Nigerians, urging other affected individuals and businesses to comply with the government.

Olukorede Kesha, Federal controller of works in Lagos, said the coastal highway has come to stay and is no longer in the pipeline. “We are paying for properties demolished on the first 3 kilometres today and those affected will be collecting their cheques and receiving their money in the bank.

“The minister had earlier promised adequate compensation and this is to clear the doubt that the federal government meant everything it said,” she explained.

Speaking on Landmark demolition, Umahi said there is no inhumanity meted on Landmark, adding that the shorelines was never given to Landmark and so, has to be taken back.

He added that the compensation is out of mercy to some people occupying some places illegally, noting that some people have taken sides to play politics.

The minister stressed that payment for demolished properties will be made according to the government’s old rate of compensation.

Meanwhile, the demolition of the Landmark Beach Resort has raised more dust that is yet to settle because, according to some Nigerians, that action was not only insensitive, but also inconsiderate.

They said that the government should have explored the possibility of re-routing the highway in order to save the beach resort, an investment that the owners say is valued at $200 million with over 4000 Nigerians working and earning a living from the several businesses operating there.

Some other Nigerians see beyond Landmark Beach and all it stands for, saying that the coastal highway serves a larger interest as what they call the largest single infrastructure project in Nigeria.

According to those Nigerians, the Coastal Highway project is a huge effort to connect two big cities along the country’s southern coast to make it easier for people and goods to transit, adding that the project will make the region better connected, help businesses grow, and make transportation smoother.

“The highway will be like a main road for trade and business, linking Lagos, a busy city in the west, to Calabar, a lively port city in the east. Embarking on this huge project will foster new opportunities for communities and businesses, making a big difference to Nigeria‘s economy and society.