Landowners and farmers whose property were claimed by dualisation of Oyo-Ogbomoso section of the Ibadan-Ilorin Expressway have staged a protest over the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to pay about N2.8billion balance of their compensation.
According to the PUNCH Newspaper, the aggrieved property owners said the N2.8 billion had been outstanding since 2011 hence their decision to stage a protest to make known their grievances.
They gathered at Gambari community via Ogbomoso on Wednesday where they stage the protest.
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The aggrieved property owners in an address signed by Lekan Ajagbe; Tijani Abdulrasheed and Grace Bello, on behalf of others called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd), to prevail on the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola ( SAN), to ensure the payment of the balance of their compensation.
Bello, who read the address claimed that the non-payment of the compensation balance was a deliberate attempt by the minister to frustrate them.
They said the grand total of the compensation claim is N4,881,901,765.68, while amount paid to them so far is N2,019,887,275.38, remaining outstanding balance of N2,862,014,490.30 to be paid to them.
They reminded the federal government of the interest on delayed payment of compensation, saying it is at bank rate as provided for under Section 29(iv) of Land Use Act, Cap L5, LFN 2004.
The protesters stated that people who were equally affected by the road projects and being funded by NNPC Tax Returns in other parts of the country had either been paid or were about to be paid their compensation.
They said, “While outstanding balance of N2,862,014,490.30 still remains unpaid by Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, it is in public domain that all necessary compensation claim was part of NNPC’s funding. We are now amazed as to the reasons why the Minister of Works and Housing
compensation from being paid to Project Affected People (PAP) along Oyo-Ogbomoso Road Project after collecting same from NNPC.
“That is the reason why, out of deep frustration that we are gathered here today to express our displeasure to the attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, for not paying us compensation for the portion of structures and crops that were affected by the dualisation exercise of Oyo-Ogbomoso Road construction.
“As law abiding citizens, who are receptive to the growth and development of every sector of the economy, we are not averse to this laudable project, which is aimed at bringing respite to motorists and reduce the accident rate on this hitherto deadly road. However, our grouse with the government, particularly the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is its attitude and the political rigmarole being employed in paying compensation to the remaining affected persons along Oyo-Ogbomoso Road.”