Written by Mohammed Yabagi, Halimat Isah and Omolade Olorundare
Kogi State Government has been intimated on the benefits that are accruable to the state when the Truck Transit Park (TTP) by the Nigerian Shippers Council located in Lokoja is completed.
Speaking when he led other members of the council’s management on a working visit to the Kogi State Government, the Executive Secretary, Barr Hassan Bello said their visit was a direct pointer to some of the benefits of the recently-concluded Kogi State Investment Summit in Lokoja.
Barr Bello informed the State Governor, Yahaya Bello that their visit is an indication that the summit was already yielding results, and called on the people of the State to appreciate the fact that the present administration is concerned about the economic development of the State.
He said the organization was in the Kogi State Government House to inform the State leadership that since the allocation of the land for the project at Ohono Village, the council has taken proactive steps towards ensuring its actualisation.
The Executive Secretary told the Governor that the project has employment capacity of directly engaging 2,500 workers, with additional personnel that would benefit in form of secondary employment opportunities.
He therefore appealed to government to defray the compensation promised local land owners to the tune of N89 million so as to avoid any clashes with the people which is capable of derailing the progress of work.
“The implication of failure to pay this compensation to the owners of the land is that concessioners or investors may be denied access to the land, the contractor can also have his work interrupted and that might hugely affect the entire projected period of completion. The economic capacity of the project is expected to be reached by the first quarter of the year.
“We have met with the community leaders and assured them that the state government would meet up with their compensatory demands.”
Barr Bello, who reminded the Governor that the State Government had earlier carried out economic assessment of the area where the project is located, said it has been found out that several benefits are embedded in the area, and pleaded that government fully tap opportunities therein.
According to the Executive Secretary, aside from the employment opportunities, the project when completed was capable uplifting the social status of the people, address some security challenges in the state, develop the state infrastructure and give overall positive turnaround for the people of Kogi State.
Reacting, Governor Yahaya Bello assured his visitors that his administration was committed towards embracing any project that is capable of improving the economy of the state, especially in terms of employment generation.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon Simon Achuba also reassured the council of the commitment of the administration towards paying up the compensation required by the community to ensure the smooth operation of the project.
He also reminded his guests of the need to extend the TTP to other senatorial districts of the state, especially with the taking off of various projects that require huge transportation such as the Allo Cement Project and the Omi Projects.