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BREAKING: Lagos Coastal Highway: FG Begins Payment Of N2.75billion Compensation To Affected Nigerians

Posted by Samuel on Wed 01st May, 2024 - tori.ng

In April, the Minister of Works, Umahi, said the coastal road project would cost a tentative sum of N15.356trillion and that the project would be completed in eight years.

Lagos Coastal Highway

Minister of Works, David Umahi, has announced that the Nigerian government will commence payment of N2.75 billion compensation to property owners affected by the demolition required for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, spanning from channel 0 to channel 3, starting on Wednesday, May 1.

Umahi said this during a stakeholders meeting held in Lagos State on Wednesday.

More compensation is expected to be paid in the coming days, he added.

In April, the Minister of Works, Umahi, said the coastal road project would cost a tentative sum of N15.356trillion and that the project would be completed in eight years.

Umahi also said that the contractor handling the project, Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech Construction Company Limited (Hitech) did not do any competitive bidding for the project, rather, the contract was awarded to the company based on its track record, not on sentiments as being insinuated in some quarters.

When asked for clarifications on the cost of the project, how it was approved in line with the Public Procurement Act and if due process was followed, Umahi said, “I don’t understand what you mean by due process. Yes, due process was followed. People are concerned about whether it was appropriated for, and I say yes.

“In the 2024 Appropriation, you will find Lagos-Calabar coastal road and it is appropriated for. In appropriation and procurement, what is in the appropriation may not necessarily be what is in the procurement but the most important thing is that it is appropriated for and it followed due process.  

“The due process is that we did our in-house evaluation of what we submitted. Some people said that this project is PPP (Public–private partnership), it is not PPP. It is EPC+F, which is Engineering, Procurement, Construction plus Finance. In EPC+F. There is a commitment in terms of funds from the Federal Government, depending on the negotiation.”

On the bidding process of the project as the contractor handling the project, Chagoury, has a close relationship with President Bola Tinubu, the minister said, “I am an engineer. I work by reality and not by sentiment.

“In the procurement act which is a law, you are allowed as a ministry to invite contractors that have special skills in a particular kind of work and negotiate with them and give out the job to them. We did that on the Third Mainland Bridge project.

“When it comes to the coastal road, we looked at the problem of ocean surge and the pedigree of the companies that have the capacity and track record of doing that, we looked at the Eko Atlantic in Lagos and remembered how Hitech was the only company that was able to solve the problem of flood that was taking of Victoria Island.

“They (Hitech) have the pedigree and track record of the ability to contain the ocean surge problems. They also have a proven track record of reinforced concrete road pavement.”

On the cost of the project, Umahi who earlier said that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar did not understand figures, noted, “If you use a dollar to N1,200, his argument comes up to about N19billion per kilometre. A standard carriageway is 11.55 metres, which is 7.3 inner shoulder of 5.3, outer shoulder of 2.75. We used this 11.55 to do our analysis.”

When asked the exact amount the project would cost the Nigerian government under the EPC+F arrangement and the completion period of the project, the minister said, “We are looking at eight years, life tenure of Mr. President.”

SaharaReporters on September 24, 2023 reported how the multi-billion firm awarded the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, Hitech Road Construction Company, a subsidiary of Hitech Construction Company was owned by a Nigerian-Lebanese developer with alleged criminal records, Gilbert Chagoury.

Hitech is a division of the Chagoury Group, a business conglomerate owned by Chagoury, a known business partner of the Nigerian President, Tinubu.



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