Buhari threatens to move projects out of states frustrating contractors
President Muhammadu Buhari has threatened to relocate federal projects from states where there are impediments such as lack of cooperation with contractors or the refusal of the state government or communities to allocate lands.
He gave the warning in a statement which Garba Shehu, his spokesman, issued on his behalf on Saturday.
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The president said some communities were frustrating federal projects by making impossible demands for land compensation and even going as far as chasing contractors from some sites.
He said the growing hostility by communities against contractors were hurting the interests of the people government was elected to serve.
“The idea of chasing away contractors on site or making undue demands from them by local communities or the deliberate actions of state governments to frustrate the allocation of lands for federal projects is an antithesis of the people’s welfare,” he said.
“To compound matters, contractors kept away from site often make further demands for payment whenever they return to site.”
“By denying the federal government lands for projects and creating unnecessary obstacles for the execution of these projects, it may be unfair to turn around and accuse the same Federal Government of marginalising people in terms of projects allocation.
“When it comes to the welfare of the people, governments at all levels should be united by the common goal of improving the well being of the people, regardless of political affiliation.
“It is, therefore, impossible to spread Federal Government projects when petty demands or politics is allowed to override the higher interest of the people.”
Last month, Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said some communities in the south-east were demanding N100 billion compensation in the course of the ongoing construction of the second Niger Bridge.
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The president had recently directed ministers to clear all lingering land issues threatening federal projects under their supervision or move such projects to willing states, if issues remain unresolved.