• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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FG to pay another N7.13bn compensation next week — Umahi

FG to pay another N7.13bn compensation next week — Umahi

David Umahi, Nigeria’s minister of works, has said that the Federal Government would begin the payment another N7.13 billion next week, in the second phase of compensation for property affected by the ongoing construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

Umahi had earlier confirmed the payment of N2.7 billion in the first phase of the compensation.

Speaking in Abakaliki on Wednesday during an interaction with journalists, the minister said the project was progressing as planned.

Read also: Don’t be afraid we will build Lagos-Calabar coastal highway — Tinubu

“Yes as we go along the coast, we meet challenges and that is why when people are talking about Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), you cannot procure one ESIA. It cannot be one, but you must have a preliminary one and the preliminary one must specify what to do.

“We have four, each time we re-design, there are challenges and the ESIA will come and look at it and they will issue another interim certificate.

“It is like that in every project construction, every certificate is generated as an interim. Yes, we hit at kilometre 16. There are two challenges: the Ugwuaja community were saying we were going through the coast and it is their ancestral home. But that was not the issue. The issue was that we had so many cables; MTN and African Post and they came from the ocean and berthed at the shore. What I was hearing people saying is that we hit that cable and we stopped. Some even said the project was cancelled. There is nothing like that.

“What we did was not follow the new proposed alignment not to follow the gazetted alignment. We went out and that was on kilometre 20 and that is how we bypassed everything and went far away from the ocean shore from the gazetted plan and it will cost me more money.

But the entire community of Ugwuaja was singing praises to the president and then the entire cable was saved. We would not even want to place the road by the side of the cable because it will generate heat and noise which will affect the quality of the cable. So, the cable is saved and not even close to it. It occurred at about kilometre 22 and started to realign at kilometre 20 and then we came back to our coast at kilometre 25.

Read also: Tinubu arrives to flag off construction of N15trn Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road

“As we are talking, the demolition of shanties and some infrastructure is ongoing. We pay compensation of about N2.7 billion. Between now and maybe Monday, we will pay another compensation of about 7.13 billion. We are paying compensation not because everybody deserves it, but because it is also a way of helping people.