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Calabar-Itu highway: FG decries erection of illegal structures

The Federal Government has expressed displeasure over the attitude of members of some communities living along the Calabar-Itu highway, erecting illegal structures with intention to get compensation.

Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), expressed the displeasure during a facility tour of the project in Itu on Sunday.

Enang, therefore, warned such communities along the Calabar-Itu highway corridor to desist from such act, as government would not pay any compensation on structures under the high tension cables.

According to him, the Federal Government will not pay compensation on any structure that was not there before valuation.

He noted that residents along the highway had erected tombstones and structures where there was none with intention to get compensation from government.

Enang added that most of the structures on the right of way had been paid compensation by government since the construction of the road in 1976 and wondered why people should come back to erect tombstones to defraud government.

He appealed to the Village Head of Mbak Oku Itam, Chief Robert Udoh, to call his people to order to desist from building illegal structures under the high tension cables with the hope of getting compensation.

“So, please call all the people along this road that these things they are doing will not pay off. When the valuers will measure, they will measure the area that cannot be paid.

“The fact that you have structures here doesn’t mean government will pay you.

“Before the contract was awarded, the estimate of the buildings that were there, economic trees and other valuables were taken. That is what was used in arriving at the contract.

“So, if we have come to see any other thing after that valuation was done and value taken, then we must find out, So, please call your people that all these things they are building will be a loss to them, as government will not pay any compensation.

“Some people have come here to erect tombstone for people that did not die. Some, their fathers and mothers are alive but they have erected their tombstones in respect of living people.

“Please advise your people that it will not be accepted because government is overstretched,” he said.

According to him, if the cost of valuation and compensation becomes too high, government will not hesitate to move the road to a fresh route, take through the bush and get to Ikot Ekpene.

“It is possible to take the road to a fresh route, if the cost of compensation is too much. Only four kilometres, we have paid N595 million as compensation and we are not prepared to do that again,” Enang said.

The presidential aide noted that the construction of the road was delayed due to funding challenges confronting the Federal Government and, therefore, appealed to the people to be a bit more patient as efforts were on to ensure completion.

In his response, Chief Udoh, appealed to the Federal Government to hasten the construction of the road as it had become a nightmare for commuters.

The monarch urged government to also ensure adequate payment of compensation to those whose structures had been affected in the course of the dualisation of the highway.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that traveling along Calabar-Itu road, which ought to be an hour journey, now takes over eight hours, due to its deplorable state. 

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