Demolition: FG gave us enough notice, say beach vendors

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By Lydia Ngwakwe
Some food vendors and others selling souvenirs as well as umbrellas to beachgoers have commended the federal government for putting ” human face” to the demolition of properties on the right-of-way of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

The vendors, low-income earners, spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the exercise at the Oniru Beach, on Tuesday in Lagos.

They said that the federal government gave them (beach vendors) enough notice to vacate the shoreline and saved them losses.

Mr Kolawole Ajidahun, a shopkeeper, said that the government gave him and other shop owners ample time to vacate the shoreline for the construction of the highway.

“I sell things like swimwear, beach gear and snacks to fun seekers, but as it stands, I have no idea what to do next. I have nowhere to go.

” However, I am happy that the government allowed me to remove all my belongings, I have not lost anything asides the space. I thank the government for that act of kindness.”

Another vendor, Mr Vincent Ubong, a surfing instructor, said, “I do not own a shop, but I was always here at the beach to provide beach-related services like surfing lessons or water safety supervision to fun lovers.

“This is what I do for a living, I feel I am most affected because for me, if there’s no water, there would not be surfing lessons.

” I’m also worried about how I would support my family. I am a father of three and I don’t know where to start from.

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“But, the demolition has made people speak positively about the government.

“The government has tried to make the process less disruptive and was more considerate of the people being affected. So it is kudos to President Bola Tinubu.”

Recall that the federal government had, on April 27, commenced the demolition of properties on the Right of Way of the 700km Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, who flagged off the exercise on Section 1 of the road, advised owners of such facilities along the axis to see the demolition as a sacrifice for Nigeria.

The project, he said, would mark a major milestone in President Bola Tinubu’s economic diversification roadmap.

Umahi said the federal government was passionate about the plight of the people affected by the demolition exercise, stressing that the government would put a human face to the exercise. (NAN)

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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