FG adjusts project route on Lagos-Calabar highway reduces lanes

The Federal Government has revised the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway route to protect subsea cables owned by telecommunication companies and the project’s scope reduced from 10 lanes to six in order to save costs.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, announced these changes during a meeting with contractors in Abuja.

He also noted that N10 billion has been distributed as compensation to property owners affected by the demolition on the highway’s construction.

The first 47 kilometres of the 700 km highway, which spans nine states with two spurs leading to the northern states and includes concrete pavement, is expected to open by May next year. A committee was formed to review and compensate landowners impacted by the project.

On May 1st, the government began payment of N2.75bn in compensation to property owners affected by the demolition necessary for the construction of the expressway. Section one is scheduled to begin at Eko Atlantic and end at the Lekki deep sea port.

Umahi mentioned that the first section will run from Eko Atlantic to Lekki deep sea port. He reassured that the project is progressing, with over four kilometres of concrete road already completed.

He said, “For the three legacy projects by the administration, the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, we have cut down the project size to six lanes, especially from sections two, three, and four, it shows you that we mean business. Some people have been writing that we have stopped the project. No project is stopped. As we are talking now, over four kilometres of concrete road has been completed on six lanes.

“We had to establish a new path due to complaints made by MTN on its subsea cable and Okuaja community, we had to reroute not to the new alignment, not to the gazetted alignment but far away from the two, and we came back to a new alignment at kilometre 25. So the work is going and it’s moving smoothly. We have paid the total compensation of close to N10bn. We are not owing and the contractor is highly commended for a very beautiful job, commitment and being very reasonable.

“These projects are investments, and they have inherent returns on investments. By May 29, 2025, we will have completed section one of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway. Apart from the land, we are going to acquire for tourism, factories and industries. When we toll the road within 10 years we would recover the cost of the money so it is an investment.

“Sections three and four have been finalised, but we are going to do stakeholder engagement in either Cross River or Akwa Ibom because that is where those sections will get started so that we can ensure procurement. But the design is almost completed.”

Addressing funding challenges, Umahi highlighted the government’s inheritance of over 2,600 projects worth N15 trillion, alongside 330 emergency projects totaling N260 billion. Despite financial constraints, more than 80 percent of these projects are finished.

Umahi also announced that Julius Berger would resume work on the Abuja-Kano section following issue resolution. He assured that the Kara Bridge flooding issue has been resolved and that CCTV installations will soon enhance security response times.

He rounded up by asserting the ministry’s stance against contractors inflating project costs through price variations.

“I commend Julius Berger very highly, some of you thought we were going to be quarrelling but yesterday we resolved a lot of our issues and by this week, the Abuja-Kano work will resume.

“Also, in the next few days or weeks, we would have completed the installation of CCTV on the bridge so that we can checkmate what is happening there and we have less than 5 minutes of response time from securities agencies to avert any form of incidents,” he concluded.

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