The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) says over N1.1 billion have been paid as compensation to Project Affected Persons (PAP) in different gully and flood erosion sites in Edo.
The Edo Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Dr Tom Obaseki made this known on Wednesday in Benin, while speaking with newsmen on the level of the project implementation in the state.
He said that compensation payment was an ongoing exercise as the work progressed.
Obaseki said that contract for emergency remediation works at the Iguosa gully site in Benin had been awarded.
The coordinator listed gully and erosion sites, where NEWMAP intervened to include Oshiobugie-Auchi, Queen Ede, Ekehuan, Ewu, Ibore, Urora, Ogiso-Osunde and Gapiona.
He explained that State Project Management Unit (SPMU) made a special request considering the devastating nature of the gully, threat to lives and property in the community for the emergency work at Iguosa.
While noting that the contract was duly approved by the World Bank resulting in the award of the contract, he said that the contractor was carrying out preparatory work.
Obaseki said that the procurement of contract for the permanent construction works had been advertised.
The coordinator stressed that the permanent work would be a continuation of the emergency work.
He said that the state came top at the just-concluded assessment of NEWMAP states in project implementation by the World Bank.
Obaseki said that the favourable rating was a great encouragement to the project staff and endorsement of the SPMU in terms of adherence to processes, procedures and guidelines.
He said that ongoing civil works by Edo NEWMAP to include the Flood Alleviation and Construction work at Gapiona and Upper Adesuwa axis of GRA, Benin City.
He said that others were Ogiso-Osunde, Urora and Igbei-Auchi as well as the Edo College, Benin City Gully Remediation works.
According to him, much progress has been made in the civil works as the challenge of flood has reduced in the affected areas.
The coordinator said that according to World Bank guidelines the project require payment of compensation to persons whose properties or crops would be adversely affected by civil works,
He added that the project had since commenced the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP).
“That is, payment of compensation to all Project Affected Persons at the sites after painstakingly going through the established processes,’’ he said.
He, however, said payment was being delayed in some areas as a result of dispute over ownership of properties and incomplete documentation.
Obaseki said that the RAP implementation was in line with the project guidelines of transparency and fairness to all parties.
“Nobody in the project, not even the project coordinator has the power to deny anyone the payment of compensation duly approved by the authorities,’’ he stressed.
The project coordinator also said that attention was also being given to the project livelihood activities where some Community Interest Groups (CIGs) were given grants to set up small and medium enterprises.
He assured all stakeholders of the desire of Edo NEWMAP to continue to dialogue with host communities with a view to achieving the completion deadlines of the contracts in the overall interest of the communities.
Edited By: Kabir Muhammad/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
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