…As Petrol Station Owners Reject Old Valuation For Compensation
…FG Shops For N82 Billion For Accelerated Completion
By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
THE Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has insisted that the ongoing construction of the East-West road must be completed before the end of November 2021.
Akpabio noted this yesterday in Abuja when the Petrol Station Owners Association (PESOA) visited him to demand for approval of the revaluation and supplementary valuation of the 40 petrol filling stations belonging to it’s members.
The petrol stations according to PESOA are situated within the Eleme junction to Onne trailer park axis of the East-West road.
According to PESOA coordinator, Dr. Joseph Obele, the group was informed that compensation will be paid to it’s members based on the valuation carried out about six years ago without conducting a revaluation of the said properties considering the current economy realities as it relates to their business.
Obele asked the Minister to approve the revaluation and supplementary valuation of 40 filling stations belonging to PESOA members.
The coordinator contended that the valuation on the said segment of the East-West road was done six years ago when Naira exchange rate was about N160 to US dollar, and as such it would not be just and fair at the moment to rely and use the said valuation due to increase in the prices of goods and services as well as high inflammation.
He noted that most of the association members were omitted, adding that ownership of most of the properties have changed.
Obele maintained that most properties have been improved on in line with what is currently obtainable in the petroleum industry as most of the stations are now equipped with the state of the art facilities.
He continued: “A new DPR policy negates licencing any station on any land that is less than two plots. Invariably all the stations will be rendered useless, irrespective of the degree of encroachment.
“That based on the environmental impact assessment report available to the group, the proposed height of the new road been higher than their filling station level at the moment will adversely send heavy flood to stations, by that all underground tanks will be stock and flooded with water.
“Loss of earning by our members during the period of construction, as virtually all stations in the area will not be opened for business.
“It is pertinent at this point to bring to your attention the Oro-Calabar axis of the East-West which is currently in a deplorable state and have become a death trap at the moment.”
Responding, The Minister noted: “Mr. President has graciously returned the construction section 1-4 of the East-West road to the ministry and he has said that he must commission that road by November 2021 no matter what it takes for it to be completed.
“We don’t have time, we must get cracking because the dry season in the region is always the best time for construction.
“The release of the money is timely and the President has also promised the ministry full assistance to ensure that the road is completed.
“For the aspect of the things you are requesting for, I don’t know how it is going to be because in my opinion I was thinking the road was over priced and so therefore I will not be able to attend to the issue but we must attempt to do the road at the original cost”
“I have told the contractors that I want to see value for the money that has been put in there, because so far the Federal government has spent about N331million on the road from Warri, while the initial cost remain about N102billion, with the release of these N20billion what we are looking for now is about N82billion and that is what we are working now, so that as soon as we exhaust this amount we make sure that the other one is ready.
“Now, the initial release as at yesterday is about N9billion, so we still have some money for companies that are ready.”
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