Coastal highway will boost 30 million businesses — Tinubu

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•President Emphasizes Economic Benefits, Calls for Public Understanding and Cooperation

•700km Highway Symbolizes Unity, Safety, and Development

President Bola Tinubu has highlighted the transformative potential of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, stating that it will significantly enhance access to production and marketing centers for 30 million people. Speaking on Sunday in Lagos during the project’s flag-off, Tinubu emphasized the highway’s role in fostering trade, tourism, and economic development.

Economic Impact and Employment Opportunities

Tinubu outlined numerous benefits of the 700km highway, which spans nine states with spurs extending to northern regions. He noted, “During construction, the road will provide direct employment for thousands and indirect employment for tens of thousands more. It will fast-track community development and improve access for millions to production and marketing centers.”

Challenges and Compensation for Landowners

The project, initiated in March, has faced criticism due to the necessary demolition of some buildings. The Minister of Works, David Umahi, revealed that 750 houses have been marked for demolition. Compensation of N2.75 billion has been allocated, but some stakeholders argue it is insufficient.

Tinubu appealed for public understanding, particularly from those whose properties and livelihoods would be affected. He reassured, “This government is compassionate and will offer appropriate compensation.”

Symbol of Unity and Prosperity

Describing the highway as more than just a road, Tinubu called it a “symbol of hope, unity, and prosperity,” expected to connect communities, foster trade, and boost tourism. Drawing a comparison, he mentioned Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, which generates substantial tourism revenue, to illustrate the potential economic benefits.

Commitment to Quality and Collaboration

Commending the Ministry of Works and private investors, Tinubu highlighted the project’s Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Plus Finance (EPC+F) model, which combines government investment with private sector funding. “We are determined to ensure quality work and look forward to private investors contributing their share,” he stated.

Long-term Vision and Legacy

Tinubu emphasized the project’s significance for future generations, saying, “This road is a legacy project that will connect neglected towns and cities, enhancing connectivity and economic growth. It symbolizes our commitment to building a prosperous nation.”

The president also mentioned the creation of a committee to review and compensate landowners affected by the construction. This committee will verify claimants’ eligibility, assess property dimensions, and determine compensation amounts.

Conclusion and Call to Action

In conclusion, Tinubu expressed gratitude to all involved in the project and reiterated its importance. “To the glory of God and the benefit of our people, I am proud to flag off this project,” he declared, urging all stakeholders to collaborate for the project’s success and the nation’s prosperity.

The Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, designed with concrete pavement, will connect Lagos to Cross River, passing through Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom states, marking a significant step towards enhanced national connectivity and development.

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