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Lagos-Calabar Highway: Nigerian Govt Has Paid N2.7bn Compensation for Demolitions – Umahi

Posted by Thandiubani on Thu 30th May, 2024 -

The minister stated this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen at his residence in Abakiliki.

Minister of works, David Umahi has given an update concerning the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project.
Umahi said the Federal Government has paid a total of N2.7 billion compensation to those affected by ongoing demolitions that has to do with the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project.
Umahi also disclosed that the project has not been cancelled as alleged in some quarters.
The minister stated this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen at his residence in Abakiliki.
He maintained that by Monday next week, another N7.13 billon, being the second phase of compensation, would be paid to those whose properties were affected..
Umahi said, “There are actually two challenges; the Ugwuaja community were saying we were going through the coast and it is their ancestral home. But that was not the issue.

“We were having so many cables, MTN and African Post and it came from the ocean and birth at the ocean shore.

“What I was hearing people saying is that we hit that thing and we stopped. Some even said the project is cancelled. There is nothing like that.

“I am a fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers. What we did was not to follow the new proposed alignment, not to follow the gazetted alignment. We went totally out and that was on kilometre 20 and it now bypassed everything and went further away from the ocean shore from the gazzeted plan and it will cost me more money.

“But the entire community of Ugwuaja were singing praises of President Bola Tinubu and then the entire cable was saved. We would not even want to place the road by the side of the cable because it will generate heat and noise which will affect the quality of the cable.

“So, the cable is totally saved and not even close to it. It occurred at about kilometre 22 and started to realign at kilometre 20 and then we came back to our coast at kilometre 25. As we are talking, the demolition of shanties and some infrastructure is ongoing. We paid compensation of about N2.7 billion.

“Between now and maybe Monday, we will pay another compensation of about N7.13 billion. We are paying compensation not that everybody deserve it, but because it is also a way of helping people.

“When people build against the law, Mr President is not the type that will punish people. The welfare of the people is what he signed first. So, it is also a way of helping even though we don’t encourage people to build against the law.

“The project is of course moving. In fact, the section one has started in three sections-three sections and the section two, which has just been approved, has also started. What people do not know is that as the road is moving, it is being connected to existing or completed road.

“So, section one is 47.47 kilometres and we are moving very fast to see that by 29th of May, we would have finished that one, then we commission it with toll gate and then the combination of return on investment from the toll that will come and a lot of will come up on the shore line and then the government will also make money from it. So, it will work.

“I beg our people, especially people of the Southeast. Let us go into investigative journalism. You know my status in the society. Who is Landmark? What investment does he have there that all these noise is being made? Go to the Total Estate and find out. There are two Obas within that zone.”

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