• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Lagos to demolish $200 million Landmark Beach Resort for coastal highway project

3_1712408487

Landmark Beach Resort, a popular tourist destination in Lagos, is locked in a dispute with the Lagos State government over a planned demolition to make way for a new coastal highway.

The resort’s owner, Paul Onwuanibe, received a demolition notice in late March, sparking concerns about the impact on tourism and investment. The Lagos government claims the property falls within the designated right-of-way for the first phase of the 700-kilometer Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project.

Landmark’s value and potential job losses

Onwuanibe argues the resort, valued at over $200 million, houses more than 80 businesses and directly employs over 4,000 people. He also highlights its contribution of more than N2 billion in annual taxes to the state. Additionally, the resort reportedly attracted roughly a million local and international visitors last year.

Compensation concerns and investor jitters

Onwuanibe, who purchased the land before the highway plans emerged, expressed disappointment and demanded compensation for the potential demolition. He fears the move will discourage future investments in Lagos, particularly within the tourism sector.

The demolition threat has reportedly triggered panic among Landmark’s domestic and international investors, with some threatening to withdraw their funds if the resort is demolished. Onwuanibe emphasizes the beach is central to the resort’s ecosystem and its demolition would severely damage the entire business.

Government’s perspective

The Lagos State government previously announced plans to remove “illegal” structures along the highway’s route. Notices were served to owners of affected properties, including Landmark. The government claims announcements regarding the 103km first phase, constructed by the Federal Ministry of Works in partnership with Lagos, were published in mid-March.

The broader highway project

The federal government initiated construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, traversing nine states with spurs leading north. The first phase, a 47.47km dual carriageway, was awarded to Hitech Construction Company Ltd. and construction using concrete pavement has already begun.

The dispute between Landmark Beach Resort and the Lagos State government highlights the complexities of infrastructure development and its potential impact on businesses and livelihoods.