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Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: Landmark’s Facilities Will Remain Intact, There’ll Be No Job Losses, Umahi Assures 

Minister of Works Umahi says the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project will only remove 15 meters of Landmark beach shoreline and shanties.

Senator Dave Umahi, Minister of Works has affirmed that no permanent structure nor jobs will be lost in Landmark beach and resort in the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

Speaking in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, Umahi said with the design of the coastal highway project, only 15 meters of the shoreline and a few shanties in that line will be removed, assuring that all other facilities in the business hub will be intact.

“I went to see Landmark yesterday (Wednesday). I had to tour that shoreline and he is not the only one that is involved. We had a very good chat. I went there to understand something. His Excellency said that twelve thousand jobs will be lost and I told Landmark that by what we are doing, no jobs will be lost. 

“What could be lost is the shoreline and the people that go to play at the shoreline, but his facilities are all intact because we reduced the corridor to 15 meters and we saw that there are no permanent structures other than a few shanties along that shoreline that are affected.

So, I told him that no job is lost and he agreed with me because tackling this council without knowledge is just heating up the system. All his structures are all intact and no single one of them is to be demolished.”

Umahi also said that even though by the ruling of the Supreme Court, the land on which Landmark is running the business belongs to the federal government, by actions of magnanimity, the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway will only require 15 meters of the shoreline from the tourism destination, which is irrevocable.

He also called on the public to disregard any false information pointing to people losing their jobs as a result of the construction.

“I am told by Eko Atlantic that even where Landmark is situated belongs to them but that is not supposed to be my business, and who owns the land is not supposed to be my problem but by the recent Supreme Court judgement, the act about the waterways, gave the right of the ownership of the land to federal government; 250 meters from the point of the shoreline to federal government which means the land belongs to the federal government.

“But we are interested here because we are talking about investment and we are happy with investment, and so we are taking 15 meters of that shoreline and it is irrevocable. We have been magnanimous by reducing the corridors to 15 meters just to ensure that not only his properties but the properties of the other people along that shoreline is secured. They have dished out wrong information that jobs will be lost and properties damaged but that is wrong.”

Meanwhile, speaking on the Third Mainland Bridge, he said plans for its rehabilitation exemplify a proactive approach towards addressing aging infrastructure concerns, citing that most of the bridges in the country were constructed over 50 years ago.

“I am a Nigerian and I don’t believe in saying these people are for me and all, even when I was governor, that was my position. The Third Mainland Bridge job was awarded by the previous administration and was awarded to an indigenous company and it is supposed to be limited rehabilitation.

“Limited rehabilitation almost destroyed that bridge, because that bridge was designed to have a dead load of Asphalt of 2 inches but over the years, you have between four inches and fourteen inches on that bridge. They created a super elevation and so there were potholes everywhere. When we came, we had to reach an understanding with the contractors and we cancelled the project. So, it was not an interest of President Tinubu, neither was it me that initiated it to please him. It is a national interest. I feel for the life of people. Some of these bridges were built over 50 years ago.”

The former governor of Ebonyi State also stated that an observation room will be set up on the islands on the third mainland bridge that would aid quick responses in times of emergencies.

“In the third mainland bridge, I am going to set out a building by the islands within the third mainland bridge to set up a kind of observation room. Within that location, we will have a small jetty where we will have a boat, within that house we are building, we will have the navy, army, and local security. We will have CCTV, which we will aggregate in that observation room.”

Chioma Kalu

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