Tinubu: Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway’ll Revolutionize Transportation System, Boost Tourism 

.*Virtually flags off design and procurement for 1,000km Sokoto-Badagry highway, 461km Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja road 

*Also performs virtual flag-off of reconstruction of 330 roads and bridges across six geo-political zones 

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

President Bola Tinubu, on Sunday flagged off the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway saying the project would revolutionize transportation in Nigeria and bolster the unique economic strength of each zone. 

The President spoke from the Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island end of the project in Lagos, which will traverse nine states along Nigeria’s coastal shoreline while linking the A1, A2, A3, and A4 highway corridors vertically crossing the western, central and eastern regions of the country, north to south.

President Tinubu commended the Minister of Works, David Umahi, for being diligent and for his efforts towards the qualitative execution of the strategic coastal highway project. 

He also applauded the Chairman of Hitech Construction Company, Ambassador Gilbert Chagoury, and Engr. Ronald Chagoury, whose company is handling the project, for being worthy stakeholders and for believing in the future of Nigeria. 

“Together, we worked to tame the Atlantic, and we turned a disaster into a great asset of value. We lost weight and took insults, but eventually, we tamed the Atlantic. We achieved our goals,” the President said, recounting how the indigenous company successfully executed a project to prevent the Atlantic Ocean from encroaching on critical sections of the Lagos shoreline.  

“Today is my day to boast. The deal is done. The dream is realizable. The determination to build a nation of prosperity is possible. We said we would build this road, and we are determined to do it. 

“Do not be afraid. We will do this road, and it will be a success for Nigeria, and we will do even more of this,” the President said.  

President Tinubu said the project will ensure that future generations have a good landmark and memory to treasure while serving as a good precedent set for others to follow in the timely provision of world-class infrastructure.

”We have a road that will outlive all of us here. That is how to build the future. This project is more than a mere road. It is a symbol of hope, unity, and prosperity. 

”It will connect communities, bring prosperity to people, and create opportunities for millions of our people. For our nation to excel, we just have to be bold and courageous in our endeavours,” the President said.

Listing the benefits and opportunities to be created by the construction of the 700km road, President Tinubu said it would provide direct employment for thousands of people and indirect jobs for tens of thousands. 

The President added that it will open economic opportunities for millions of people, fast-track economic development, provide 30 million people with improved access to production and marketing centres, even as it will facilitate the free movement of people.

He said the project will also complement the expansion of the country’s maritime industry in the wake of the recent decision by the United Nations to grant Nigeria an extension of its continental shelf by an additional 16,300 square kilometres. 

“We must take advantage of these opportunities,” the President said, adding that the establishment of more export processing zones along the coastal states must be a priority for the country.

Earlier in his speech, Works Minister Umahi announced that the President had directed that sections 3 and 4 of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project should commence from Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, respectively. 

Emphasizing that due process was followed in awarding the contract for this transformative project, the Minister described President Tinubu as a visionary and courageous leader.

Umahi disclosed that over 40 new projects are ongoing across the country and that all compensations up to kilometre 6 of the Lagos-Calabar project have been paid. 

Also speaking, Oniru of Iruland in Lagos State, Oba Abdulwasiu Lawal, whose domain the road will pass through, assured the President that the community would ensure the removal of all bottlenecks. 

He stated that his people have made painful sacrifices for the project to materialize and called for adequate compensation for them.

In separate remarks, three Governors – Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Mr. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, and Mr. Hope Uzodinma of Imo, described the wide-ranging support from sub-nationals as a vote of confidence and support for the landmark project. 

Starting from Lagos and terminating in Cross River State, the coastal highway will include a spur to the north-central part of the country.

From Victoria Island, President Tinubu also performed the virtual flag-off of the design and procurement for the 1,000km Sokoto-Badagry Highway, which is expected to connect Sokoto to Badagry in Lagos State, passing through Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, and Oyo States.

In addition, he virtually flagged off the design and procurement for the 461km Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja Road, which will traverse Benue, Kogi, and Nasarawa States, terminating at Apo in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The President, who is in Lagos to inaugurate and flag off projects as part of activities marking his administration’s first anniversary, also performed the virtual flag-off of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 330 roads and bridges across the six geo-political zones of the nation.

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