The Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway

Nmesoma Okwudili


June 4, 2024

President Bola Tinubu described the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway as more than just a road, emphasizing that it represents hope, unity, and prosperity. At the event, attended by the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, and several governors, Tinubu highlighted the project’s significance.

Tinubu stated, “This project is more than just a road – it is a symbol of hope, unity, and prosperity. It will connect our communities in nine states, foster trade and commerce, boost tourism, and create new opportunities for generations to come.”

Referring to the event  as his “bragging day,” Tinubu expressed his commitment to its completion. He said, “We are determined to build this road. The way we are progressing, we will have a road that will outlast us and endure for future generations. That is how to build a future.”

The 700 km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway is designed to connect Lagos to Cross River, traversing through Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom states before reaching its final destination in Cross River. This extensive project aims to enhance regional connectivity, facilitate trade, and boost tourism across these states.

However, the construction has required the demolition of some buildings, sparking significant criticism from many Nigerians who argue that the timing of the project is not suitable. Despite these concerns, Works Minister Dave Umahi has staunchly defended the project, asserting that it is in the best interest of the nation, emphasizing its long-term benefits over the temporary inconveniences.

President Bola Tinubu has also sought the understanding and support of the public, especially from those whose properties and livelihoods will be directly impacted. He emphasized that the benefits of the highway, including economic growth and increased accessibility, will outweigh the initial disruptions and hardships faced by some communities. Tinubu urged those affected to consider the broader vision of national development and unity that this landmark project represents.

President Tinubu highlighted the commendable adoption of the EPC+F (Engineering, Procurement, Construction Plus Finance) model by the ministry. This approach involves the Federal Government making initial investments while awaiting private investors to contribute their counterpart funds. He praised the Honourable Minister of Works and the ministry staff for their efforts in ensuring the contractor delivers high-quality work.

Tinubu also appealed for public understanding, particularly from those whose properties and livelihoods will be affected by the project. He acknowledged the sacrifices required for national growth but assured that the government is compassionate and committed to providing support and compensation to those impacted.

In his speech, the President drew a parallel to the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, a 2,600 km road that generates 3 billion euros annually in tourism revenue, emphasizing the potential economic benefits of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway. These remarks were made during the official flag-off of the highway and two other significant legacy projects in Lagos.

The President outlined several benefits of the coastal highway, emphasizing its potential to create employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth. He noted that during the construction phase, the road will directly employ thousands of people and indirectly benefit tens of thousands of artisans. Additionally, the project is expected to open up economic opportunities for millions of individuals and accelerate community development, bringing vital infrastructure closer to the people. The highway is projected to improve access for approximately 30 million people to production and marketing centers, facilitating easier movement and enhancing trade efficiency.

In urging the exploration of the maritime industry, the President emphasized the importance of bold initiatives. He highlighted the significance of Nigeria’s recent approval for the extension of its continental shelf by the United Nations and encouraged leveraging this opportunity. Drawing on geometric principles, he likened the highway to a straight line, emphasizing its role in facilitating the free movement of people and goods. This statement was made during discussions at the official unveiling of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway and underscored the transformative potential of the project.

 “Establishment of more export processing zones along the coastal states, it is a must. The security in our region will be improved. Don’t even just talk of tourism. This is an endeavour that you cannot just estimate the opportunities that await us. You don’t have to travel again to Miami and all that. We have better weather and more sunshine and you can open various shops and economic warehouses, and we will protect the shoreline and I am glad Ondo governor is here. He has been running away from the ocean surge. I wonder whether you were able to campaign there yet” he said

“The potential of this road is enormous, we have two spurs which will link up the Badagry-Sokoto expressway, it is under procurement activities right now.”

“Don’t be afraid, we will do this road – 700 km, it will be a success for Nigeria and we will do more than this.” He concluded


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