The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), has over the weekend pre-sensitized residents of estates along Voice of Nigeria (VON) and Trademore road Sabon Lugbe, FCT Abuja where road improvement project was recently approved.
At the event, which was the first in the series with stakeholders, the Permanent Secretary, EFO, Dr. Habiba Lawal intimated the audience that the meeting was aimed at building bridges of understanding between EFO, Contractors, Consultants and benefitting communities.
The bridge building here is essentially to bring the contractors and consultants to meet with members of the host communities with a view to resolving any issue that may now or in future hinder the progress of work. Each contract / project has an expected completion period and we in EFO would not want any delay occasioned by controversies or disputes between contractors/consultants and host communities.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director, Pollution Control, EFO, Mr. Clinton Igwe, called on the residents to create peaceful and conducive atmosphere devoid of rancor and acrimony to enable contractors deliver timely, good, and quality projects for the benefit of their community.
She encouraged residents living along Trademore/ VON corridor to eschew violence and forward genuine and legitimate complaints on contractors through community heads, particularly traditional rulers who would in turn forward such complaints to EFO rather than resorting to violence that would stop the progress of work.
Reiterating that the Federal Government of the day is addressing critical ecological challenges across the country to forestall environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties, Dr. Lawal enjoined residents of the community to ensure maximum utillisation of government resources. Her words:
It is therefore imperative that peace and tranquility are needed for timely completion of these projects. This intervention project in this community is essentially yours. You must do everything possible to protect and sustain it so that the resources which the Federal Government has committed for the projects would be gainfully utilized and will not at the end be in vain.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Adamu Candido, who was represented at the event by the Hon. Councilor for Environment, Hon. Bravo explained that AMAC attached much importance to the project considering the number of estates that the road project will serve. According to him, Trademoore/ VON corridor Lugbe has an overwhelming population in the entire Abuja with more than forty-five (45) estates.
He admonished the members of the community to cooperate with the contractor reiterating that the Federal Government had executed more than ten (10) projects within Abuja and environs through EFO without any issue of violence.
In a vote of thanks, the overall Chairman of the estates, Sabon Lugbe East, Barr. Ade Ajanaku on behalf of the benefitting community described the project as a welcome development promising that no one would disturb the contractors but cooperate with them.
At the question and answer session, members of the estate were given the opportunity to air their feelings, ask questions and make comments on the project. Mr. Oluwatoyin Adeogun and other members of the community who came out in their numbers to interact with the officials from EFO lamented of their sufferings and losses over the years as residents due to bad road, erosion and flood threats. They saw the intervention of the Federal Government on the long existing ecological issue in their area as a miracle.
Realising that their pains would soon be over, the residents expressed their gratitude to the Federal Government for coming to their rescue and pledged to cooperate with the contractor to ensure that the project would be completed on time. They also promised to protect and develop ways of maintaining the project so that the resources which the Federal Government has committed to the project would be gainfully utilized and will not at the end be in vain.
Present at the event were the officials from AMAC, management staff of EFO, members of the benefitting community and the Press.
Source: Federal Ministry of Information and Culture