Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: FG withholds payment of compensations after project realignment

The Federal Government states it is withholding compensation payments to affected property owners on the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project due to alterations in the initial plan.

The Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi, stated this during his inspection of ongoing work on the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway and other road projects, including those in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Dangote Tax Credit Route, and Eleko, among other areas, on Saturday in Lagos.

The minister mentioned that to address the compensation issues affecting various critical infrastructures, the government had reduced the entire corridor from Phase Two, Section Two of the coastal route to effective pavements of 55km, including the 10 train tracks.

He noted that the government had so far released approximately N10 billion in compensations.

Umahi said, “We are going to withhold compensation payment from Kilometer Seven because we have re-routed some of the sections, like the white sand beach.

“I know the indigenes have been praying very well. I think God has answered their prayers because we have also compressed the corridor to 55 effective pavements with 10 train tracks.

“We reduced the 10 tracks from 55 to 20, and we are taking it back also towards the beginning of this project.”

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Umahi said the rerouting of the project will lead to the safety of many underground cables in the country.

He also mentioned that other properties will be saved as the construction is now realigned to mostly swampy areas.

According to Umahi, payment of compensation would continue only after a review of the affected properties along the highway.

“For Section Two, we are going to have brand new enumerators so that they will also give us their opinions.

“We saved all those cables and saved the whole community of Okunaja, by not only re-routing but re-routing entirely through a swamp.

“I hear that some people are calling to protest that we are re-routing to the swamp, that we should go to the gazetted and then destroy the cables.

“I wonder what kind of people we are dealing with. It is very funny,” Umahi added.

What you should know

In March, the Federal Government started constructing the 700-kilometer Lagos – Calabar Coastal Highway, designed to extend through 9 states with two spurs leading to the Northern States.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Works, David Umahi, during the official handover of the first phase, which includes a 47.47-kilometer dual carriageway, to Hitech Construction Company Ltd.

Moreover, the government started a compensation process for affected customers in May.

The first phase of the compensation amounted to N2.7 billion and it included 10 property owners along the highway project.

Earlier, the federal government had set up a committee tasked with the responsibilities of reviewing, assessing, and compensating landowners affected by the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Expressway.

Umahi said that the committee, comprising members drawn from the ministry, Lagos State, affected communities, and other stakeholders, had primary responsibilities that included verifying the eligibility of claimants, assessing the dimensions of affected properties, and determining the appropriate compensation amounts.

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