The Federal Government has appealed to the land owners in Utu Mega Layout Community in Makurdi, Benue, not to be obstacle to ongoing efforts to provide affordable houses. The Zonal Director, National Housing Programme, (NHP), North Central Zone, Mr Julius Olurinola made the call on Sunday in Makurdi.
He urged the group not be blinded of the huge impact of such developmental project, adding that they should not be obstacle to the agenda of the Federal Government. The group, who are land owners, led by Mr Deunion Akimbo, had barricaded road preventing government officials from inspecting the NHP located in the state. They were protesting non-payment of compensation by the state government. However, Olurinola promised the group that the Federal Government would facilitate their compensation by the state government.
“There is a collaboration between the 36 states government and the Federal Government as regard to the project. “It is the responsibility of the states to provide lands that have been compensated for. “That is why when this issue was brought to the attention of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, he had written to the state government on the issues the programme in the state is facing. “Your complaints are being handled, you know the challenges being faced in the country presently and some state that are yet to pay salaries. “The issue still remains that what needs to be done must be done and the issue of your compensation is not left out. “This project will be of good benefit to all people in the state, the artisans are also from the state. At its completion, it will enhance the status of the citizens,” he said. Olurinola commended the speed at which the contractors handling the project used to attain to a finishing level despite its delay. “The project has an initial problem of starting but it has overtaken some projects in other states. Its quite commendable”.
The housing project which consists of 72 units of flat is at 60 per cent completed The Utu Mega Layout Community in Makurdi, Benue, land owners appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in its land compensation issues. Akimbo expressed anger over the way the state government was delaying in the payment of the compensation. “We want the Federal Government to immediately intervene for the state to compensate us. We know the government has control but the land belong to some people.
“They have taken over our farmland, the community demands a quick response from the Federal Government in terms of compensating each and everyone of them affected by the housing project scheme. “Our children are starving and suffering too much and government is not making any efforts to pay us that is why we have blocked you from entering today so that you will go and deliver our message to the Minister,“ he said. While responding to the group, Gov. Ortom Samuel of Benue assured the group that all has been put in place for immediate compensation. Ortom, represented by the Director of Building and Structure Engineering Services, state Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Cephas Suswan asked for little patience to sort out the issue.