Residents and stakeholders of the Ikot Nkebre community in Calabar Municipality of Cross River State have appealed passionately to persons harassing the contractor and workers handling the full erosion sites to stop.
The community has suffered massive erosion problems, including losses of lives and over 40 houses in many years.
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Successive administrations have tried to ameliorate the situation until the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) intervened.
However, due to incessant attacks and harassment by people described as hoodlums, work has seized for some time now.
The contractor is understood to have reached an agreement with suppliers of materials. But activities of thugs slowed down the project.
A leader of the community, Etim Edem Effiom said: “We are pleading that whosoever is behind the harassment of the contractor and workers on-site should please stop forthwith for the sake of this community. The community members are those bearing the burdens.
“The contractor has recovered some areas that were totally eaten off by the erosion. They have done a good job so far, they should be allowed to continue and finish up.”
The Project Director, Engr. George Brown said that work on the four fingers has reached 95 per cent completion with the only remediation work left to be carried out.
“We had some invasion about three weeks ago from hoodlums. They came in on the pretext that we were not paying mining levies. From our records and the interactions we have with relevant tax agencies and consultants, we have paid all levies to accrue to the state even up to the end of April.
“We have been chased out many times even when we updated all our revenues, but the faceless hoodlums came in on the pretext of revenue.”
An official of the State Internal Revenue Service, Eteng James denied that they sent tax men after the contractor.