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Lagos-Calabar Highway: Compensation of property owners will be based on FG rates – Minister

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David Umahi

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has said that the compensation process for property owners along the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway route will be based on the Federal Government’s approved rates.

Umahi made this statement during a press briefing and stakeholders meeting on the Lagos-Coastal Highway projects, which took place in Lagos on Thursday.

According to him, the repayment structure to those affected will be fair and transparent, but of a non-negotiable amount.

  • “By next week Wednesday, we will know how much compensation will be paid, and it will be paid according to the rates gazetted by the Federal Government.
  • “From Wednesday, I will appoint a committee that is going to review the remuneration to be sure that what is on paper is what is on ground.
  • “So, we are going to call people as much as possible, starting from Monday, to come and know if these are their properties, and ensure that this is how much they are getting and so on and so forth,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Umahi said that a 30-day one-on-one engagement process would be conducted to confirm property ownership and claims.

According to him, all affected owners of various properties along the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway route will be paid within the 30 days of engagement.

  • “So, we will try to fast track it because the one-to- one engagement is going to be for 30 days, and I said that you will all be paid within the 30 days. The moment you are verified, and you sign, you are going to get your money in 30 days.
  • “I swore to uphold the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that constitution has not changed; so, whatever the constitution says in terms of rate is what we have to pay,” Umahi added.

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Earlier, there has been some reports that the Lagos State government planned to demolish the popular Landmark Beach Resort, a tourism spot, because it obstructs the planned route of a 700-kilometer coastal road intended to connect the state with Calabar.

The property, owned by a business mogul, Paul Onwuanibe, is valued at $200 million.

Onwuanibe had said he received a letter of notice from the state to vacate his multimillion-dollar beach resort within seven days for its impending demolition in March.

However, he later revealed that negotiations with federal and state governments as well as interest groups were going on to adjust the initial 1.5 km segment of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, proposing to redirect it along the undeveloped median of Water Corporation Road to avoid disrupting the resort’s business.

  • In addition, Umahi, said in a recent press briefing that no permanent structure or jobs will be lost in Landmark Beach and Resort in the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.
  • Umahi also noted that although the Supreme Court has established that the Federal Government owns the land on which Landmark operates, out of generosity, the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway will only require 15 meters from the tourism site’s shoreline.

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