Presidency threatens to relocate federal projects in trouble states
States or communities creating unnecessary impediments in the allocation of land for, or access to such lands for federal projects risk forfeiting such projects, henceforth, the presidency warned yesterday.
It said such projects would be moved to communities where the projects are needed.
“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,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said in a statement.
He drew attention to a recent directive by the president to ministers in which he requested them to “have the states clear all lingering land issues threatening federal projects under their supervision or have such projects moved to willing states where that becomes impossible.”
President Buhari regretted that some communities in the states are frustrating the siting of federal projects in their areas by making impossible demands for land compensation on contractors and even chasing them away from site where they are unable to meet up.
To compound matters, contractors kept away from site often make further demands on payment whenever they return to site.
The Presidency noted that the refusal to allocate lands for federal projects or the growing hostility by communities against contractors on site are hurting the interests of the very people governments are elected to serve.
Shehu added: ‘’By denying 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 wellbeing 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.”