The federal government has settled the issue of compensation with the Jiwa Community to allow the take-off of the delayed second runway project of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
Daily Trust reports that despite the mobilisation of contractor for the project, the take-off has been stalled following the protest from the community seeking compensation over the land.
Our correspondent reports that the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika while on a tour of the project site with the former Minister of FCT, Mall. Bello Muhammed, said the project would be delivered before May 29.
But this was never realised before the administration of Buhari ended following the community’s protest.
But in a meeting with the community leaders on Tuesday, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo and his FCT counterpart, Barrister Nyesom Wike, said a sum of N825m being the total money agreed with the community for compensation had been paid.
It was learnt that the community leaders earlier disagreed with the federal government’s offer and had insisted on a whooping N2bn compensation which has now been resolved.
In a statement, SA Media and Communications to Keyamo, Tunde Moshood, quoted the Minister as saying, “The second runway ought to have been commissioned by now, sometime in June or July 2023 but we haven’t mobilized yet to the site because of unresolved issues of compensation.”
He stated that the issues around compensation by law do not concern the Ministry of Aviation and that the humongous demand by the communities are not achievable and would set a bad precedent.
He, however, expressed optimism of quick completion of the project since a resolution has been reached by all parties.
He assured the communities of the social corporate responsibility they stand to enjoy along with the commencement of the project and explained that the project will benefit the communities in terms of economic activities.
On his part, Wike said “I want to identify myself with the community, If there is anything I can do to make you happy I will make it alone” He urged all stakeholders to support the second runway project and assured all that the compensation of N825, 819, 119. 43 to the communities will commence immediately.
Aside the N825m compensation, the two ministers announced the immediate employment of 22 graduates from Jiwa Community, they also promised the construction of Tundanmadaki bridge, that connected 9 communities with an additional 5km road.
The issue of a modern health facility for the community was also muted.
At the end of the resolution meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, and his Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Mr. Olusade Adesola, being representative of the federal government joined the Emir of Jiwa, Alh. Idris Musa and some village and district heads to sign the MoU on behalf of the communities.