FG Inaugurates C’ttee On Lagos/Calabar Highway Compensation

The Federal Ministry of Works inaugurated a compensation verification committee last Thursday at the Ministry headquarters in Abuja.

The committee work is to review and setting the claims of landowners affected by the Lagos – Calabar highway project.

The minister of works, Dave Umahi urged the committee to complete all verification and proceed to compensation process by 28th April 2024.

The minister highlighted the government’s commitment of transparency, which is in accordance with president Bola Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.

, “We are committed to transparency, and that is why we are inaugurating this committee today.” he said.

The Lagos-Calabar highway, a 700 km project connecting Lagos to Cross River through various coastal states, has been under scrutiny for its cost and the procurement process.

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This road will cost approximately N4 billion per kilometre and pass through states like Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom before culminating in Cross River.

Umahi clarified that compensation would only be awarded to property owners with proven titles.

Due to legal restrictions, those with shanties or properties within the 250m shoreline setback without a federal government title will not receive compensation.

The Minister, however ,explains that the committee will use the federal rates for compensation, which are higher than those offered by Lagos State.
“The moment the property owners sign after filing the necessary documents and bank accounts, and within 72 hours, we will authorize payment,” Umahi explained.

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He noted that the contractor, Hitech Construction Ltd, would handle the direct payments to those affected.

However, the minister, also mentioned the method of calculating compensation would be based on area and volume and that verification would commence in Lagos on the following Wednesday.

Umahi disclosed that in cases of a title problem, a presidential waiver would be required for compensation to be paid.

“So anyone with a title within the 250m and is not a Federal government title, then it is incumbent that only the President can give a waiver if he feels so for the person to be paid,”

He said the initiative is part of a broader effort to address the infrastructural needs of the nation while balancing the rights and compensations of the citizens affected by such major projects.

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By Sophina Ovuike, Abuja