Works on the Fourth Mainland Bridge has started in Lagos. The Lagos State Government is building a 26-kilometre infrastructure to link Ikorodu to the state’s economic hub in Eti-Osa Local Government Area. The state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Obafemi Hamzat explained that people “may not see the physical work at all for now. A bridge is not what we can jump in there and start to build. Then, we will be able to commence full work. But internally, a lot have been going on. The preliminary work has actually started.” Hamzat said to the press that a good number of buildings might be affected if the old alignment was used and the government was searching to come up with a new plan. “It’s becoming a bit cumbersome because of the number of buildings on the right of way. It might be extremely destructive if we want to follow the old alignment. We might probably need to destroy a lot of good buildings. This option is not fanciful to us. So, we have to look at another right of way,” he said.
Consultants “are working on the new right of way. We will look at the cost-benefit analysis of the alignment that will be cost-effective. We are considering if it is better to pay compensation than going through another alignment. The experts are already working on it, and the report will come out soon.” According to reports, Hamzat explained the need to meet all the stakeholders and people whose buildings would be affected in order to discuss the issues of compensation and resolve other issues that might lead to litigation while developing the infrastructure. “That is the truth of the matter. If there are 50 buildings on the right of way, we have to determine their cost. We also need to talk to people that will be affected.” “The fact that the state wants to pay compensation does not mean somebody will not go to court. So, we need to engage internally without people knowing what is happening. We need to know the owners of the buildings. We need to talk to them and arrive at a conclusion. So, it depends on how responsive the people are,” he said.
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