The Nigerian government and State governments have been enjoined to desist from halting major projects half-way until it is completed to enhance development of major sectors of the economy.
The Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe gave the advice while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for completing the 2nd Niger Bridge describing it as a positive development to Nigeria and Nigerians at large.
His Excellency, Nnaemeka Achebe told Voice of Nigeria in a chat on how he viewed the gigantic project in his Anambra State.
‘Well, it is a positive development, a positive development. The 2nd Niger Bridge project has been planned, technically designed by previous administrations but the political will! The political will to get the project started did not take place until the present administration and one gives credit to the present administration for the political will. It is an expensive project and such projects are expensive.
It is a major investment and you cannot just be spending money. So also, Lagos �Ibadan Expressway is under construction, very expensive, there is the dam project in the North very expensive too. All these projects are investment and social responsibilities of the country. So we appreciate the initiative of the action of government for its take-off by providing the funds.
I am not just saying this but for the access roads and road signs must be done so as to connect Asaba aand Benin Expressway on this side to connect Onitsha-Owerri Express roads and on to Onitsha Express. So it is important that by next year the balance of the funding be provided.
Cases of compensation
The Obi of Onitsha cited the need for government to begin to sort out all forms of compensation and to rehabilitate initial residents of the community whose houses were demolished for them to carry on with their lives.
He condemned the manner in which a major construction project negatively affected those communities, in terms of the pathways of the project, lack of its indication of policies and relocation of those communities within the environment with farmlands destroyed and without allocating adequate compensations.
The amount of money that is involved we believed is provided for in the project funding. Eh! It is not significant compared to the overall cost of the project. For some reasons, the officials, the ministry of Works I think is a responsible to the Federal Government are not pushing and we don’t want to be like the Niger Delta to begin to stop projects and carry placards and so on.
Therefore we know our rights if it means to go to court against the Federal Government over the building of the 2nd Niger bridge for the benefit of Nigerians. Let’s face it, that bridge is a Nigerian project, it is not an Onitsha project or Asaba project or Anambra state or Delta state project. It is a Nigerian project for Nigerians and people who come to Nigeria to have easier access, open opportunities, business, industries, and tourism. So in a sense we are making a sacrifice of providing the lands and taking such to create the disturbance to our way of life in some communities.
The Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe challenged the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Works to produce records of those communities in Onitsha which were compensated. He challenged the Federal Ministry of Works to provide records of compensation as most of the lands affected doesn’t have compensation evidence adding that they have not compensated those in Onitsha.
Source: Voice of Nigeria