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Doherty to Sanwo-Olu: Don’t displace job-creating businesses for Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project 



Funso Doherty e1683438799698

Funso Doherty, a former ADC gubernatorial candidate for Lagos State, has called on the Lagos State Government to carefully consider businesses that have heavily invested in employing locals and contributing taxes while reclaiming land for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project. 

 In an open letter to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday, Doherty highlighted the government’s current and planned actions regarding the right of way and compulsory property acquisition for the road project, urging a thoughtful approach to avoid negatively impacting these valuable business entities. 

Acknowledging the state’s undeniable and constitutionally guaranteed powers of compulsory property acquisition, Doherty advised that such authority should be exercised with judiciousness, fairness, and compassion. 

  • “Some of the properties are owned and operated by businesses that have invested substantial sums, taken commercial risks and succeeded, contributing to the city, while employing residents and paying taxes. The effect on them, on their employees and on the city should be carefully considered,” the letter read in part.   

Doherty advised that, in cases of compulsory property acquisition for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, the Lagos State Government should seek alternative solutions.  

He referenced a widely reported incident in which the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning notified a property owner that their property was within the right of way for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road and issued a 7-day eviction notice.                                                                                            

More insights

  • In his open letter, Doherty noted that while informal settlements and shanties might be deemed illegal and targeted for demolition to clear land for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road right of way, human and social consequences of such actions, particularly on vulnerable populations, should be considered.
  • He urged the Lagos State Government to implement measures to mitigate the impact on those affected.
  • Furthermore, he requested that the Lagos State Government ensure fair and just compensation for owners of properties, including undeveloped land, which are to be acquired as part of land reclamation for the coastal road project along its entire stretch within the state. 

What you should know 

  • In February 2024, the Federal Executive Council approved the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, awarding the contract to Messrs Hitech Construction Africa. The initial phase of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, which is currently the focus, spans 47km and starts from Lagos State.  
  • The Lagos State Government, in recent weeks, has begun demolishing illegal structures and shanties along the right of way (ROW) of the highway, issuing demolition notices to several property owners along the proposed path of the road. 
  • Landmark Beach Resort is one of the establishments to which the Lagos State Government issued a demolition notice because some parts of the resort encroached into the right of way of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.  This is likely the case Funsho Doherty cited in his letter.                                                                   
  • However, the management of Landmark Beach Resort announced last week that it is in talks with the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government to redirect the route of the highway along the undeveloped Water Corporation Road, aiming to avoid disruption to its business operations. 


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