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Coastal Highway: FG to pay another N7.13bn as compensation – Umahi
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Fri, 31 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

The federal government is to pay another N7.13bn compensation to those whose properties were demolished for the construction of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi disclosed this to journalists in an interview in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.

He noted that N2.7bn had been paid as compensation for the demolition of structures on the coastal highway before the approval of another N7.13bn by the federal government.

Umahi opined that demolition of shanties and other structures on the highway were still ongoing.

“As we are talking, the demolition of shanties and some infrastructure is ongoing. We paid compensation of about 2.7 billion. Between now and maybe Monday, we will pay another compensation of about 7.13 billion.

“We are paying compensation not that everybody deserves 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 do encourage people not to build against the law”, he stated.

The Minister came hard on the owner of Landmark property in Lagos and challenged him to publish his title documents on his properties for the public to see.

He averred that his properties were not affected by the demolition of structures contrary to claims.

“You know my status in the society, who is Landmark? What investment does he have there that all this noise is being made.

“You will see the house of Bolaji, magnificent house, white house. It is bigger than one of Landmark’s properties. I did everything to save it, I couldn’t save it. He is a Yoruba person. He was a former local government chairman in Lagos State, former PA to Asiwaju and I am sure you heard him when he spoke.

“Then after his own, you now go to one of the Obas, Oniru. Oniru is the title holder of the entire place and they are the people that sold the land to Landmark. Landmark has two tall buildings. One is ongoing. He has the boundary that was sold to him.

“The Oniru family did not sell the shoreline to him. They did not. What he did is to now get tenants and put in the entire shoreline and he was collecting rent from them. None of Landmark properties was involved in the demolition and no permanent structure along that road. I saved his two properties, not because he is Landmark, but I am a developer because whatever you sow is what you will reap.

“I thought I would save that house of Bolaji but it was not possible at all. I saved the Landmark property without knowing who had it. Whether Bolaji is a Yoruba person and Landmark is an Igbo man is not my business. I have grown above such sentiments.

“The two properties of Landmark were totally saved and some meters away from our right of way. I have asked Landmark to publish his title documents. Till today, he has not published it. In fact, if I did a one hundred meter corridor, the two buildings of Landmark would have gone.

“We did a 30 meters corridor to save his property and he is not grateful because he is using it for politics. He said he has two million staff and if government were smart, they have to go and ask him for tax because if you are generating the number of billions he said he is generating, they have to check if he is paying tax and if he is not paying tax, then he has to either come and pay the balance of the tax or he will say, look I lied”, Umahi said.

 

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