CEO News ; OPTION: Lagos Calabar Coastal Highway - Osawaye

OPTION: Lagos Calabar Coastal Highway - Osawaye

© OPTION: Lagos Calabar Coastal Highway - Osawaye
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I have watched with subdued amazement at the sensationalization of the ROW ( right of way ) for this project of the Federal Ministry of works under the current minister Engr Dave Umahi .

Let me state without prejudice the following …

- Government and it’s policies , programs and projects must be for the benefit of the largest number of its people 

- ⁠adequate environmental and community ( including businesses) impact assessment must be done for such projects 

- ⁠cost benefit analysis of the project ought to be done . 

Let’s all agree that the need for a costal road along the expansive coastal waters our nation is naturally blessed with by its location in the Gulf of Guinea is an over due infrastructure that will exponentially impact the economy along the communities and unlock so much local and international business .

Let’s also agree on the following…

-by the provisions of the constitution of the federal government and the provisions of the land use act of 1979 , all land in Nigeria resides in the governor of each state in trust 

- the right of compulsory acquisition for overriding public interest is enshrined in the land use act 

- ⁠the government at both federal and state exercise this right as and when needed for the overall benefit of its people 

- ⁠compensation payment is an enshrined provision in the exercising of the above rights by government 

- ⁠compensation is paid according to the provisions of the LUA .

- ⁠all lawful occupiers and owners of property and development and crops and businesses that will be displaced from the land or water ways to be acquired for the development of this public infrastructure will be compensated in line with the laws of LUA.

- ⁠in some cases relocation or resettlement or restoration to alternative land is an option 

Having laid the above general parameters for my discourse let’s now look at what this landmark project like other public infrastructure translates too in terms of ROW.

- the whole coastal settlement and development both permanent and temporary from the barbeach right behind EKO hotel / EKO Atlantic sales office to Oniru beach / Landmark / Elegushi / lekki / Alpha , Aticam / Akodo / Eleko and all other beach resorts too numerous to mention will have to be realigned to make way for the proposed 10 lane costal road ( including those in the coastal states of Ondo and Cross River along the Atlantic Ocean .

Anyone that has played any minor or major role or observed the real estate development along the lagos costal waters especially the Atlantic Ocean beach end should be aware that it plays host to a lot of residential and tourism development with investment running into trillions of Naira and a large ecosystem of interrelated business providing livelihood to a massive chunk of the almost 20million plus lagosian to say the least and another other 10 million from the states along its route .

What am I saying ……the impact of the lagos - Calabar coastal road goes beyond LANDMARK RESORT .

There are numerous other private and institutional investors both local and foreign whose footprints extend into our beautiful alluring coastal beach front .

We therefore need to pause and ponder why the seemingly skewed focus on the LANDMARK oniru ??

Like it’s promoter said both on Twitter and the media exposure he has had on several television outlets including ARISE TV just this morning……” Landmark is ground zero” of the project .

That means the coastal road takes off from there and if I heard him well like 1.7kiliometer of the road passes through its resorts facilities dotting the beach .

Are they permanent structures? Any informed player in the industry will answer you in the negative .

Can they be safely and seamlessly relocated ? The answer is in the affirmative 

Will this cause some disruption to the Landmark business? A definite yes .

The above scenario will play out for all businesses and activities along the path of the proposed coastal highway .

As an informed player in the built environment , a consultant valuer who has handled some compensation valuation assignment for both states and federal governments in Nigeria over the years , compulsory acquisition of land is always a volatile and touchy issue for both individual , businesses and communities affected .

Navigating the emotions and politics and dynamics which could get really volatile is the responsibility of all stakeholders involved .

While Government sees itself as trying to do a project for the benefit a larger population , the interest of the most insignificant individual or business or community must not be negatively skewed .

None in the value chain must feel to have suffered more or lost more or been put in a worse postion or made a greater sacrifice for the sake of the project or public infrastructure.

That’s the duty the government owes to LANDMARK and other businesses that may likely be impacted by this worthwhile “landmark” public road project .

In conclusion, I appeal that LANDMARK and her promoters avoid any sensationalization of the removal notices served on it by the authorities under an guise of ethnic or religious bias .

The gentleman has invested a lot in that axis and has enjoyed a lot of goodwill from both the host community and the lagos government including the traditional institutions therein .

All these can be leveraged on and should be quietly done away from the lure of the media.

At the end of the day a successful coastal road in that axis will be an exponential  impetus to all businesses in the axis with the LANDMARK being a major benefactor .

It’s comforting that Mr Paul Onwuanibe being an international exposed tourism and real estate industry player understands this dynamics and i counsel him to put all the skills learnt over the years in securing a win win outcome for the landmark group and its investors and its customers both internal and external.

I see the emergence of a massive ecosystem of international dimension in the 700km stretch of our coastal ways .

My prayer is we don’t abort it on the alter of politics !

Osato R. Osawaye Fnivs RSV.

Estate Surveyor , Valuer and Developer . 

Osato can be reached on 

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