Owner of demolished beach declares support for Lagos-Calabar coastal road

Bolaji Ariyo, Mami Chula Beach’s Chief Executive Officer and one of the affected property owners in the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road construction says millions stand to benefit from the project.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, had last week disclosed that the Federal Government would pay N2.75bn in compensation to property owners affected by the demolition necessary for the construction spanning from channel 0 to channel 3.

Revealing this information during a stakeholders meeting held in Lagos State, he urged everyone to stop politicising the project and acknowledged Ariyo (a Yoruba man) as the largest property owner affected.

Ariyo, in a viral video interview with Channels TV, said he shared the project’s vision “even if it causes inconvenience for a small number of people.”

He said, “I understand when a government is promising to make life easy for the entire Nigerians.

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“Some of us are affected, no doubt about it, but those affected are not up to 0.1 per cent of the millions that will enjoy the coastal roads.”

He also urged the people to support the president and the minister so that the project can come to fruition.

“That’s why people like me have taken it to heart to also support Mr President and the honourable minister to ensure that this road comes to life,” Ariyo added.

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In an interaction with journalists on Saturday, the minister said no structure belonging to the Landmark beach resort was demolished, adding that only shanties erected on the government’s right of way were affected.

“Landmark has unfortunately made so much noise about this. I have revisited the place, and I can say none of his infrastructure is affected.

“Just the shanties are affected and they are bulldozed already. We are passing our coastal bridge within the right of way of the Federal Government.

“I have directed that the beach should be shut down for tomorrow and there is no beach. The place is owned by people who are sand filling it, and at the end of the day, there is no more beach.

“Those who are playing politics with it can go ahead. My job is simple: to pass the coastal road. It’s in a right-of-way within the coastal corridor which is the legitimate right-of-way of the federal government.”

Landmark employees recently staged a protest opposing the sand filling of the beach for road construction.

A post on X from Landmark Africa, the parent company of the beach, in reaction to the exercise, read, “What we built in six years was destroyed in six hours,” alluding to their investment believed to be around $200m that has been turned to ruins. They, however, promised to be back.

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