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Lekki residents protest allocation of coastal road to private developer

By Eniola Daniel
08 January 2022   |   3:35 am
The Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) has renewed its call on the Lagos State government to halt the allocation of Lekki Coastal Road to a private developer for construction.

Members of the Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) protesting yesterday in Lekki, Lagos State, against the allocation of Lekki Coastal Road to a private developer PHOTO: ENIOLA DANIEL

The Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) has renewed its call on the Lagos State government to halt the allocation of Lekki Coastal Road to a private developer for construction.

The association, led by its president, Olorogun James Emadoye, said the government had neglected calls to fix the road for 40 years despite revenue generated from the area.

They accused the government of taxing property owners in the axis heavily while giving back little, alleging that the government ‘sells roads’ in the area to individuals and issues them Certificates of Occupancy (CofO).

 
Emadoye said: “The coastal road the Lagos State claimed it’s allocating allegedly for 10 years is not acceptable to the people of Lekki. It is not acceptable for so many reasons. The only road that cuts across this region is the Lekki-Epe Express road and currently, residents would need to wake up by 5am to go to their offices.

“So, it was a thing of joy during the political campaign when governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration would construct the coastal road, and that was one of the reasons we voted for him. But recently, we saw bulldozers bulldozing the road and we went to church to celebrate that the construction was going to start. Unfortunately, what we learnt later was that there’s sort of allocation to a private developer.

“The government claimed that the move was because of miscreants occupying some spaces. We then told the government that if they want to allocate because of miscreants, they should go down the road to see where miscreants are, and not where we have estates ready to maintain the area.”
 
Emadoye stressed that residents do not want the allocation “because of what we experienced on the regional road that is now being constructed, where some people were issued with CofO along the road alignment and the government started looking for ways to cut into some members estate to claim land.”

He added: “We engaged the government severally before we could solve the problem, and we can see that is what the government is trying to replicate here. If we allow the so-called temporary allocation, it will be made permanent; the government will start telling us that they have no funds to pay compensation.”

“We are ready as a people who are directly affected by the development to cooperate with the government to ensure that the road is maintained and life is bearable for the people of Lekki. All we want is for the government to stop the allocation because life will become more unbearable for the people of Lekki when the Dangote Refinery, Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Lekki Airport finally take off while the road is occupied.”

Also, the vice-chairman of the association, Olusegun Ladega, said: “We seem to be the babies of the government when it comes to generating income from us. We have one of the highest rates of land use charge; we are the only ones for so many years that pay to drive on the highways in Lagos, and we pay to sit in a traffic logjam.

“We have observed that along this axis, the various right of way both for road and drainages have been encroached upon with impunity, and often at the bottom of it is connivance of persons who have the statutory duty to prevent these activities. This is a worrisome development that is fraught with so many dangers. The state should engage with us because we have proposed our own solutions.”