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Minister of Works Clears Air On The Controversial Lagos –Calabar Coastal Road

 Olushola Bello

… To Cost Commuters N3,000 On Average Per Toll Gate

…it will take eight years to complete and will cost N4bn per kilometre.

The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has cleared the air on the construction of the controversial Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road, stating that the Federal Government will charge an average of N3000 per toll gate.

He also disclosed that the road will cost about N4 billion per kilometer and it is to be completed within eight years.

According to the minister who spoke on Channels Televison’s breakfast show The Morning Brief on Thursday, the money to be charged at the toll gate is meant to recoup the cost of building the road, and this could be realised within 15 years.

“The Federal Government will charge N3,000 on average per toll gate when the Lagos-Calabar coastal road is completed.”

 “Let me leave out the infrastructure along the corridor. Let me just concentrate on the tolls and I put 50,000 vehicles as an average passage on these toll points per day,” Umahi said on the breakfast show.

“I put N3,000 as an average cost. N3,000 because the cars could be like N1,500, and the big trucks could be like N5,000,” he said. “So, we put an average”.

“In 15 years, you make back the money,” he said, dismissing calls that the cost budgeted for the road was high.

According to him, there will be security at the toll gates and also some facilities like filling stations.

“At every point of tolling, we also have toll station where we have a kind of relief activities: the restaurants, filling stations, parking lots, and so on,” Umahi said.

 “So, people will now have confidence. In these sections, we intend to put CCTV all through.”

He stated that the Lagos-Calabar coastal road construction will take eight years to complete and cost N4bn per kilometre.

 “We are looking at eight years in the life tenure of Mr President [Bola Tinubu],” he said.

The minister said each kilometre of the coastal road would cost N4b but said the government’s prudence made that possible.

“You know, there are other projects not awarded by me that are also going for about N4 billion per kilometre,” the former lawmaker explained.

 “So, I will pride myself, to the glory of God, that this project is the most prudent project that I’m starting. Other projects I made, we are reviewing, we are fighting, and we’re trying to review, the cost,” he said.

Umahi, however, said the cost is a tentative one.

 “Well, I cannot sign my signature on that because it can come down, it can go up,” the minister said.

 “Let me leave out the infrastructure along the corridor. Let me just concentrate on the tolls and I put 50,000 vehicles as an average passage on these toll points per day,” Umahi said on the breakfast show.

On those that have infrastructure along that corridor, he assured them that the federal government will compensate them, even though most of them do not have the necessary documents of the areas where they are operating.

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