Home Lagos Lekki residents petition Lagos State Assembly to prevent construction on Coastal Road

Lekki residents petition Lagos State Assembly to prevent construction on Coastal Road

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Residents of the Lagos neighbourhood of Lekki have urged the House of Assembly to put an end to the Lagos State Government’s leasing of portions of the beachfront road to developers as soon as possible.

The residents made the appeal in a statement signed by Olorogun James Emadoye, President of the Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA).

According to the residents, the development poses a risk to life and property in the area.

“We are compelled to run to you and the State House of Assembly at this auspicious time of the year, as we have noticed heavy construction on the Coastal Road around Goshen Estate, Lekki.

“Our initial investigation revealed that some government officials are the ones that have allocated the Coastal Road to developers for various untenable reasons,” the statement said.

LERSA stated that the development, which it viewed as an existential threat, developed as a result of strange people’s activities.

“One of the builders, known as CLAM Church, has already constructed permanent structures on the Coastal Road and others are waiting to follow.

“LERSA is therefore compelled to bring this development to the attention of the Lagos State House of Assembly and appeal to the Honourable Members to use their good offices to ensure an urgent resolution that puts an end to a threat that is capable of dislocating the peace and tranquillity that currently exist in our state,” the association stated.

When LERSA welcomed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as a candidate prior to the 2019 election, he vowed that if elected, his administration will develop the Coastal Road.

The association expressed surprise however that the property designated for the road is being allocated to private developers by officials of the Sanwo-Olu administration.

“We are shocked to be told that the same government officials are the ones allocating the same road to private developers.

“The long-expected and much-needed Lekki Coastal Road planned by Lagos State Government to alleviate the severe traffic congestion in this axis is currently under threat following an infringement by illegal developments beside Goshen Beach Estate and Regal Seaview Estates.

“This is a clear and deliberate infringement on the state masterplan in general and the coastal road in particular.
“We have established that three-quarters of the land has been leased out, with the remaining one quarter left in the hands of various illegal structures where miscreants and criminals operate freely, thereby creating a public nuisance and a security risk.

“It would interest our Honourable Members and the general public to note that Goshen Beach Estate Residents Association (GBERA) had, in fact, built the road leading from the end of Edward Cotonou Road to the Goshen Beach Estate front gate at a cost of over N15 million in January 2019.

“This construction by Converse Engineering, which was carried out as a CSR project to benefit both the local residents and the wider Lekki community, provided the only alternative route between Marwa and Ikate and was extremely critical in easing the traffic congestion along the Expressway.

“This critical alternative route, which received approval from Lagos State Government, has now been blocked by the development and the height barrier installed to deter ton trucks unilaterally removed to allow access to trucks for the ongoing illegal projects,” LERSA said.

The group went on to say that the first signs of the unfavourable development appeared in June 2021, when its members noticed that the area around the road built by GBERA as a CSR project in 2019 was being cleared.

Initially, the association stated that it understood it was for the purposes of the coastal road project.

However, when bulldozers arrived, it became clear that the area was being developed.

According to LERSA, On October 2021, residents discovered that a church was behind the development, forcing it to contact the Lagos State Governor with a letter drawing the attention of the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA).

The letter according to LERSA was also copied to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, and the Surveyor-General’s office

As a result of this, a meeting with NTDA, LERSA, GBERA, and Regal Seaview Stakeholders was held on October 25, 2021.

The General Manager of the NTDA acknowledged that a temporary lease had been granted to the Church and an Event Centre, noting that this was done to rid the area of hoodlums and shanties.

However, following strong objections from neighbours, the NTDA General Manager consented to relocate the church and issue a stop-work order to the developers.

This, according to LERSA, has been met with indifference as building work has intensified, which is why it is requesting an urgent halt to construction in the area.

“We demand that an immediate halt be placed on any development along the planned coastal road around Goshen Beach Estate and Regal Seaview Estate in particular and the entire coastal road.

“This is in the light of the negative impact such developments are already having and will continue to have on local residents and the wider Lekki population.

“We believe that this will create huge problems to successive governments on the issues of the payment of compensation when the road is to be developed, hence the request to abort forthwith.

“The Lagos State House of Assembly is the representative of the people. We are therefore calling on the Rt. Hon. Speaker and all well-meaning Honourable Members of the House to immediately look into this problem before it degenerates,” LERSA said.

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