“Take EIA Seriously In Future”, Atedo Peterside Slams Umahi Over Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Fiasco

Prominent businessman Atedo Peterside has criticized the Federal Government’s handling of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project. Peterside’s comments came after the government decided to revert to the original route for the highway, abandoning the planned diversion. This decision followed the demolition of properties along the proposed new path, a move that has sparked widespread frustration.

Peterside Atedo
Atedo Peterside

During the 3rd Stakeholders Meeting in Lagos, the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, announced that the government would no longer pursue the diversion due to the presence of submarine cables along the coastline. This revelation has led to a reconsideration of the highway’s alignment, much to the dismay of affected property owners and businesses.

Peterside, who is the President and Founder of Anap Foundation and Anap Jets, and also the Founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank, took to Twitter to express his disappointment. He emphasized the importance of conducting thorough Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and holding public hearings before making decisions that affect people’s lives and properties.

“Dear @DaveUmahi,” Peterside tweeted. “This is precisely why a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should have been carried out, along with some sort of public hearing that would have given affected persons a voice. Unless I am mistaken, it appears that the Federal Government has destroyed properties along a new chosen path for the new Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road, only to realize now that sticking to the original path makes so much more sense?”

Peterside’s tweet reflects the frustration of many who feel that the government’s actions were hasty and ill-considered. He urged the government to take EIAs seriously in future projects to avoid such issues.

READ ALSO: Landmark Beach Demands Compensation From FG for N42bn Property Demolition

The initial plan for the highway included a realignment that would have seen the road move inland to avoid the coastal submarine cables. However, this decision led to the demolition of beachfront properties, including those belonging to private businesses like LandMark. The destruction of these properties has had significant financial and emotional impacts on the owners.

At the stakeholders’ meeting, Umahi acknowledged the challenges posed by the submarine cables and stated that the government is now exploring alternative routes for the highway. Despite these setbacks, the Minister assured attendees that the project would continue, albeit with a revised plan.

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