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Lagos-Calabar road: Landmark raises alarm as govt begins rapid sand filling of it beachfront

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Lagos-Calabar road: Landmark raises alarm as govt begins rapid sand filling of it beachfront

Insists original right of way free, remains unused

The Landmark Beach Resort management has raised concern over the rapid sand filling of its beachfront by the by contractors handling the Lagos-Calabar highway, while emphasizing that the original right of way designated for the project, which passes through the Water Corporation Road median, remains unused, undeveloped, and still available for the highway construction.

Recall that David Umahi, the Minister of Works, said in a recent Channels Television interview that the redesign of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, originally including Water Corporation Road but now rerouted along the coastal path, was necessary to preserve the extensive infrastructure along the original route.

But Ms. Elsie Ogianyo, the Brand and Corporate Communications head at Landmark Africa who conveyed the organisation’s position in a statement on Wednesday, noted that the original 1.5km stretch through the Water Corporation Road median lacks permanent structures, and reverting to this alignment would prevent beach operation disruptions.

Landmark advised that the government returning to the original route will be a win-win situation for everyone.

“The issue of the Lagos Calabar Coastal Road passing through the Landmark Beach remains a topic of wide-reaching discourse and we think it necessary to clarify certain salient matters with the hope that this will help to keep the ongoing conversation centered on achieving a win- win solution that secures the unhindered development of the Coastal Road while preserving a major tourism outpost on the West African coast,” the statement said.

“We would especially like to address these matters in light of the sudden acceleration of the sand filling works which has the potential to further disrupt activities in our tourism platform.

“To clearly highlight the salient points, we wish for the public to note the following:

1. Along the original 1.5km coastal road route which passes through the Water Corporation Road median, there are no permanent structures whatsoever. This original alignment remains unused, undeveloped and available till date for the development of the coastal highway and we feel that rerouting back to this original alignment is one of the several, credible win-win solutions that exist that will also avoid disruption to the beach.

2. Till date Landmark has never been officially consulted on the coastal highway alignment nor have we been engaged in discussions with regards to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project on Landmark.

3. The accelerated sand filling on the Landmark shoreline has sent widespread panic and fear to the independent businesses, suppliers, employees, investors, financiers, and clients that all conduct business within the Landmark Ecosystem.

4. As we continue to pursue dialogue with officials at all levels of the government, we are sure to receive formal notification with regards to a timeline on the potential resolution of this matter to quell the fears and uncertainty felt throughout our community.

5. Of the 80+ businesses that make up the Landmark Ecosystem, over half of them are situated on the Landmark Beach directly in the right of way of the coastal road. These businesses have invested between NGN15-20 billion on their businesses in addition to the NGN25 billion that Landmark has invested in the underlying infrastructure required to create and maintain the enabling environment. All of these businesses will undoubtedly be affected if the alignment is not changed. Pictures, videos, and a physical inspection can ascertain the extent of the real beach infrastructure investment made by Landmark and the businesses operating on the beach.”

Landmark warned that the entire Ecosystem, the over 80+ businesses operating within and the livelihoods of over 12,000 Nigerians directly and indirectly employed by it, would be gravely jeopardised if it is contemplated that the beach is demolished.

“We must always remember that these employees (mostly youths) support the hopes and aspirations of their families and dependents amidst a cost-of-living crisis. We strongly believe that this decision is being given the grave and due consideration it truly deserves given the wide-ranging and enormously negative consequences that would result from the demolition of the beach,” the statement added.

“As a business that has been in operation for over 27 years, in 14 cities across 3 continents, and has been operating from our site at Water Corporation Road for over 17 years, we are proud to have brought in over $100 million of foreign direct investment and local facilities to develop the tourism ecosystem we have today. In the wake of the news of the last couple of weeks, our FDI investors have expressed alarm, so we are eager to get past this season of turmoil and uncertainty so that we can return to growing the most celebrated tourism destination on the West African coast.

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“We look forward to working continuously with the Lagos State government to achieve a win- win solution that preserves the Landmark Beach, retains the ethos of the coastal road, and maintains Lagos and Nigeria as a beacon for positive development in the tourism industry.”

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