Right Of Way Issues, Major Obstacle To Calabar-Itu Road Construction —FG

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MilieThe Federal Government has described the intrusion into the right of way and compensation impasse as a major obstacle hindering the progress in the construction activities and the dualization of the Calabar/Itu federal highway.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure, yesterday while inspecting the progress of work on the Cross River axis of the road.

The minister, represented by Director, Construction and Rehabilitation, Folorunso Esan, noted that apart from the challenges of the right of way, the ministry had no issues with funding the project as it was among critical roads funded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, through tax credit scheme.

He, however, called on Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, to help resolve the issue of compensations, so that the contractors can finish the dualization work as scheduled.
The minister, who expressed satisfaction with the level of work from the Odukpani axis of the highway being handled by Julius Berger said the job would be delivered by June/July of 2023.

His words: “We are encouraged by the level and quality of work done so far by Julius Berger handling the 21.9km from Odukpani to the power plant.

“Our major and only challenge, for now, is that of the right of ways. Government has for long paid compensation for this but I don’t know why people are still on the right of way, it’s an issue that will be resolved.

“As a matter of fact, this is delaying the progress of work and we want the governor to assist in this regard since the land belongs to the State and they are his people,” he said.

At the Okuiboku/Itu power plant section being handled by Sematech, the minister who lauded the contractor over the level of work so far, however, charged him to do more in order to deliver the project by November 2023.

On his part, Kehinde Bakare, Site Manager for Julius Berger, said no fewer than 3km of the section of the road have been asphalted while a bridge and culverts have been constructed.




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