• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road: Property owners seek talks with FG

As the Federal Government mobilises to begin construction work on the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road, property owners along that corridor are seeking consultation with the government on how to mitigate the expected impact of the 700-kilometre road project.

David Umahi, minister of works, announced during his recent tour of federal projects in the Lagos zone that a contract for the project has been awarded to Hitech Construction Company.

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The project, which according to reports, is expected to be completed in five years, will affect many residential and commercial properties to create the right of way for the project, meaning that many businesses will have to close down to make this happen.

One of these property owners is the Landmark Africa Group, owners and developers of the Landmark Lagos, also known as Landmark Village, an ecosystem that harbours over 80 businesses offering tourism, leisure and hospitality services.

“The construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road stands out as a commendable project as it will connect vital regions of the country and contribute to the growth of the economy, particularly the tourism industry while enhancing employment,” Paul Onwuanibe, Landmark Group CEO, noted at the weekend.

But the construction of the road as presently planned, he said, portends the destruction of the Landmark Group with over 80 businesses operating within its ecosystem, thus leading to the demise of a major player in the hospitality and tourism industry, mass unemployment and lost taxpayer revenue, among other socio-economic fallouts, he said.

Onwuanibe noted that wide-ranging consultations with concerned stakeholders were needed to formulate alternative win-win solutions for the development of the road while preserving the existing businesses and their socio-economic value. He added that federal, state and local government support for this was required.

He recalled that Landmark acquired beachfront realty along the Water Corporation Road in 2007 and at the time, the original construction plan for the Coastal Road as part of the West Africa Coastal Highway was to go through the Water Corporation Road median which, to date, remains undeveloped

“The Landmark Group is now seeking the government’s intervention in facilitating the rerouting of just about 1.5km out of the 700km stretch of the road to its original location on the Water Corporation Road median,” he said.

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“Worthy of note is that over 80 businesses are operating within this ecosystem and it welcomed over three million visitors in 2023; a significant number of which were from the diaspora or foreigners who came to enjoy ‘Detty December’ in what is arguably the premier leisure and tourism destination along the West African coastline,” Onwuanibe said.