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FG sets up committee to compensate landowners affected by Lagos-Calabar road project

Umahi said that apart from verifying those to be paid, the committee would also verify the dimensions where possible, and the amount.

The construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway has started from Victoria Island in Lagos. [Abiodun Bello/X]

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja, said that the goal was to ensure transparency in all undertakings.

The gesture is in line with the renewed hope agenda of the administration of President Bola Tinubu which is transparency.

“The committee is tasked with interacting with the property owners to be affected, and to look at possible compensations to be paid. Where it is possible, the committee should visit the sites,” he said.

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He said that the ministry would apply federal government rates for the compensations.

“I know very well that there is nobody that you ever compensate that is ever satisfied with how much is to be paid.

“However, we are bound by the law, so we are using the federal rate, which is a lot higher than the Lagos rate, in paying compensation

“We adopted the Federal Government rate since we are the ones paying,” he said.

Umahi said that apart from verifying those to be paid, the committee would also verify the dimensions where possible, and the amount.

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He said that after the verification, the property owners would sign, and the contractor would be directed to pay the specified amount.

He, however, said that where there is a title problem, a presidential waiver would be needed before such people would be paid.

“So, only those that have proven titles will be paid as they are brought to us in the ministry, although we shall carry out our own checks.

“We have to make it very clear that 250 metres of the road legally belongs to the federal government.

“So, if you have a title within these 250 metres and it is not a title from the Federal Government, only the President will give a waiver if he so feels, for payment.

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“So, I will work within the confines of the law,” he said

Umahi said that the ministry would try not to delay the files so that the process would be shortened.

He assured property owners that within 72 hours, the needful would be done.

Umahi said that property owners would sign and be given a form to indicate their bank accounts.

He said that the moment that was done, within 72 hours, payment would be authorised.

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“The contractor is going to be paying directly to all those who are affected. We are committed to doing this, so the verification will start by Wednesday in Lagos,” he announced.

Umahi said that the committee members were drawn across the board from the ministry, Lagos State, and affected communities, among others.

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