Lagos Calabar Coastal Road: FG Urged to Stick to Original Plan

5 Min Read

Ugo Aliogo

The Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos State in 2023 general election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has urged the federal government to stick to the original plan of 1.5 kilometres of the 700 kilometres of the project that is actually going through Water Corporation Drive.

He averred that if the government stick to the original plan, it would preserve all the businesses, ecosystem and the land for the people of Lagos, adding that there can still be a coastal road and beach where families can come and have leisure time together.

He remarked that the coastal road and beach can co-exist, but the way the federal government is embarking on the project shows that there is another interest that they are not being open and honest about that is creating this kind of motivation for this to happen.

Rhodes-Vivour, who disclosed this yesterday in Lagos during a media briefing, expressed displeasure that the president is just creating a situation for his friends to appropriate land, and that is what it is starting to look like because there was a road that is supposed to go through Water Corporation Drive that would preserve all of these small, medium-sized businesses, and land.

e averred that Small and Medium Scales (SMEs) businesses that are operating in Landmark Beach front, pay more than a billion naira in taxes to the Lagos State Government.

The LP chieftain further explained that putting aside the controversy of the costing of the project and how the project was actually even given to the contractor, there was no competitive bidding, and Lagosians are seeing a situation where it is almost as though the federal government is creating a situation for Chagoury to landfill and appropriate land in this area that was formerly for the public.

According to him, “A destination that was set up in 2007 and has generated so much revenue to the operators and businesses in this area which has made them to pay taxes to the Lagos State Government in the excess of over a billion naira yearly.

“And that is aside from the employment of people about 4,000 people directly and over 20,000 people indirectly and a place where families come to enjoy leisure time together which is scarce now in Lagos State because all the beaches are highly privatised and owned by private individuals as opposed to something that can be enjoyed for the public.

“It will not take up to 1.5 kilometres of a 700 kilometre stretch for us to preserve all of these. But the speed at which they are sand filling shows that there is something else at play here and that is why we are here today to say that you know government is supposed to work for the people and if the plan was originally for this road to be on Water Corporation why must so many jobs be sacrificed in a situation where our economy is not creating jobs.

“People are suffering high youth unemployment, high levels of poverty why would a road that is supposed to ease the lives of Lagosians also now create so much detriment to them, especially when you see that this coastal road just comes here and then goes back to the main road why is this so important to takeover this part of Lagos when the original plan had a situation where it goes on water corporation and then continues to go and that is why we are here we want to stand to talk to the government to let them know that they must put the interest of businesses first.

“There is a lot of conflict of interest. I mean, we have seen what happened in Lagos with high-tech, the Chagoury and Tinubu and their relationship. So, when a contract of such a humongous amount is given without a competitive bid, it is very problematic. Also, when you see the situation where the public interest is not being the centre focus, that is also problematic.”

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