PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has warned that the Federal Government would be forces to reallocate projects if states or communities opt to create unnecessary impediments in the allocation of land or access to such lands for federal projects.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, Saturday, the president stated: “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.”
Recently, the president requested ministers to ensure that states clear lingering land issues that were threatening projects under their supervision or else such projects would be moved to states without such impediments.
Buhari regretted that some communities and states were frustrating the siting of federal projects in their areas by making impossible demands for land compensation on contractors and even chasing them away where they were unable to meet up their demands.
“To compound matters, contractors kept away from site often make further demands on payment whenever they return to site,” he said.
The presidential aide added that the refusal to allocate lands for projects or the growing hostility by communities against contractors on site were hurting the interests of the very people whose governments were elected to serve.
He stated: ”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 their wellbeing, 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.”