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Residents threaten to disrupt Oyo-Ogbomoso road construction over ‘unpaid N2.8bn compensation’

Residents threaten to disrupt Oyo-Ogbomoso road construction over ‘unpaid N2.8bn compensation’
February 11
18:16 2022

Some owners of structures affected by the ongoing construction of the Oyo-Ogbomoso road in Oyo state say they’re being owed a total of N2.8 billion as compensation.

The federal government had, in October 2021, approved funds for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take over the reconstruction of 21 federal roads — including the Oyo-Ogbomoso road project.

According to a statement issued on Thursday on behalf of the structure owners by Lekan Ajagbe, Tijani Abdulrasheed and Grace Bello, the residents said the takeover of their structures for the construction of the road dates back to 2011.

The residents, however, said recent information from the federal ministry of works indicated that the state government would be responsible for the payment of the outstanding compensation.

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They insisted that the federal government should look into completing the “outstanding compensation of N2,862,014,490.30”, since some of the structure owners affected by the construction of the road had been paid earlier.

The affected structure owners also threatened to disrupt the ongoing construction of the road if the federal government fails to take action regarding the said compensation.

“We seize this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) via its approval of MEMO EC (2021) 248 to invest in the reconstruction of selected ongoing federal roads under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure Development & Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme from the NNPC,” the statement reads.

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“It is in the public domain that all necessary compensation including other expenses were taken care of in NNPC’s funding and all the listed projects are to pay outstanding expenses. Notwithstanding the provision of fund (including payment of compensation), for reasons best known to the Honourable Minister for the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, his Ministry decided to single out compensation from being paid to the Project Affected People (PAP) along Oyo-Ogbomoso Road project.

“That is the reason why, out of deep frustration, we are gathered here to express our displeasure to the attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, for not paying us compensation for the portion of structures and crops that were affected by the dualisation exercise of Oyo-Ogbomosho Road construction.

“As law abiding citizens, who are receptive to the growth and development of every sector of the economy, we are not averse to this laudable project which is aimed at bringing respite to motorists and reduce the accident rate on this hitherto deadly road.

“However, our grouse with the government, particularly the federal ministry of works and housing, is its attitude and the political rigmarole being employed in paying compensation to the remaining affected persons along Oyo-Ogbomoso road.

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“The grand total of compensation claim is N4,881,901,765.68. Amount paid so far is N2,019,887,275.38, while the outstanding balance is put at N2,862,014,490.30.

“In the circumstance therefore, we demand the following from the Federal Government or its agency: Immediate payment of outstanding compensation to structure and crops owners along Oyo-Ogbomoso road project; Immediate reversal of the two memos which purportedly emanated from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing directing stoppage of compensation by its Ministry and transferring such function to State Government of which the State Government is not privy to; Payment of interest accruing on the compensation sum from 2011 till date at bank rate as provided in the Land Use Act, Cap L5, LFN, 2004.

“Except compensation is duly paid to all structures and crops owners along the dualisation of Oyo-Ogbomoso Road Project, the Contractor (R.C.C.) should not further commence any construction within the axis of the Road Project since any act of further construction would be regarded as an act of provocation to the remaining structures and crops owners and a breach of Public peace may occur thereby leading to the breakdown of law and order.”

Meanwhile, efforts to reach Babatunde Fashola, minister of works, through Hakeem Bello, his spokesperson, as well as Dahud Sangodoyin, Oyo commissioner for works, proved abortive as there were no responses to calls or messages sent to their phone lines.

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