States run the risk of losing federal road projects, according to Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, because some communities along the road corridor are making irrational claims for compensation.
Fashola clarified that because the Land Use Act gives states control over land, it is the responsibility of the individual state governments to resolve such disputes after a piece of land is determined to be eligible for a federal road to pass through.
In an interview with a group of Vanguard staff members in his office in Abuja over the weekend, the minister claimed that some federal road projects were being delayed because funding had been established and contractors had been hired, but they were unable to arrive at the construction site because locals were making a variety of demands for compensation.
He, however, commended some state governors for taking the initiative in settling such issues, thus paving way for projects to go on as planned and on schedule.
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“as I told you is a state responsibility, so there is nothing to lose my mind about. The president has made it clear. This has to be on a collaborative basis, we’ve designed the projects, we have found the funding, and they give us the right of way after all it is one country.
You control the land and any state that does not give the right of way, we take the view that the project is not interesting to you, we will move the resources somewhere else.
While speaking on how the rising global inflation is impacting ongoing projects, the minister noted that while it was true that a reasonable margin of profit is factored into project costs taking into consideration possible inflationary trends, the current inflationary trend which was not peculiar to Nigeria was not envisaged.
Our contractors have of course raised these issues, we know them, we know that for example our provisions for variation in prices, didn’t contemplate this astronomic increases so it will be unreasonable in some cases to expect the contractor to go on and so in some places we are making adjustments increasing the provision for the variation of prices.
We are also telling the contractors, if you are planning to make 10 percent profit, you may be in a better position now to make 3 percent and move on to the next project that we can re-cost in today’s reality or we don’t want you laying off staff, which will be the easiest thing that a contractor will do.
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