FCT Agrees To Pay N825 Million To Local Communities For Second Runway Project

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has taken a significant step towards overcoming obstacles that have delayed progress on the construction of a second runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. In order to address these concerns, the FCT has made the decision to provide compensation amounting to N825 million to communities impacted by the project.

During a meeting held in Abuja, FCT Minister Nyesom Wike conveyed this resolution, alongside Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development Festus Keyamo, as well as other key stakeholders. Minister Wike expressed his commitment to the well-being of the affected communities; stating that he is fully dedicated to ensuring the satisfaction of the people.

Adding, he said that if there is anything he can do to bring happiness also, he is prepared to take that step alone. He appealed to all parties involved to rally behind the second runway initiative; offering assurance that the compensation process, totaling N825,819,119.43, will begin without delay.

Following the meeting, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development revealed the cause of the delay in the commissioning of the second runway, originally targeted for June or July of 2023. The primary cause of the delay is the unresolved compensation issues.

The minister clarified that, according to legal standards, the Ministry of Aviation is not responsible for addressing these compensation matters. He acknowledged the impracticality of the communities’ substantial compensation demands, noting that meeting such demands would set an unfavorable precedent. Nonetheless, he expressed optimism about the accelerated completion of the project now that a consensus has been reached among all parties.

Furthermore, the minister assured the communities that they will benefit from social corporate responsibility initiatives as the project commences. He underscored the economic advantages the project will bring to the local areas in terms of increased economic activity.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was officially signed on behalf of the Federal Government by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, and Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration. On behalf of the affected communities, the Emir of Jiwa, Alh. Idris Musa, along with village and district leaders, also endorsed the MoU.

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