FCT Minister Approves Compensation for Airport Runway Project

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja 

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, says his Administration will pay the sum of N825.8 million as compensation for the construction of a second runway for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Minister stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, while briefing newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting with members of the Jiwa community and other stakeholders.

Wike said that the amount would be paid through the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for compensation and resettlement of the people of the Jiwa community affected by the project.

He added that as part of the incentive, the 12 people from the community would be employed by the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development and its agencies and 10 by FCTA.

He added that the government would also construct Tuga Madaki bridged along with a five-kilometre road from the bridge to the community for easy movement of the people.

The minister explained that the project would be captured in the 2024 budget of the FCTA.

Wike also said that FCTA would equally provide a modern health facility providing quality health care services for people of the community.

He said that an undertaking and an agreement between the government and the community would be signed.

He identified the signatories as the permanent secretaries of FCTA and Ministry of Aviation, the Chief of Jiwa, the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Council and the Commissioner of Public Complaint Commission.

“If that is done today, and tomorrow or next tomorrow the money is paid to them, contractors will no longer delay. They have to move to the site immediately and commence work.

“So, the second runway has come to stay,” he said.

He said that the current administration was determined to ensure that the second runway was delivered.

He commended the Chief of Jiwa, Alhaji Isa Idris, for mobilising his people to attend the meeting to resolve the crises.

His counterpart from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Barr. Festus Keyamo said that he met the issue at his table, adding that the project ought to have been delivered in July.

Keyamo said that the contractors could not be mobilised because of the issue of compensation.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of FCTA, Mr. Olusade Adesola, said that the completion of the project requires the support of all relevant stakeholders.

Adesola commended Wike for the intervention to ensure a quick resolution of the issue.

Dr Emmanuel Meribole, Permanent Secretary of the Minster of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said that the project was approved by the Federal Executive Council in March 2022.

Meribole said that the project was awarded to four contractors in April with CCECC Nigeria Limited as the major contractor, adding however that the project was stalled because of the disagreement over compensation.

Earlier, the Chief of Jiwa, said that the Ministry of Aviation through its consultant had earlier pegged the compensation at N2.5 million per hectare, for the 12,000 hectares allocated for the project.

Idris further said that the amount was later reviewed downward to N700,000 per hectare when FCTA took over the discussion as the rightful authority to determine how much compensation to be paid.

He said that the community took the matter to the Public Complaint Commission to resolve the issue amicably.

The community leader said that his people were concerned that the N700,000 being offered per hectare would not be enough for the affected persons to acquire another land.