The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has expressed concern about the extended delay in compensating landowners for the N43.2 billion Inland Dry Port project in Olorisa-Oko, Moniya, Ibadan citing that the lack of clarity on the status of families compensated is delaying the full take-off of the project.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State government attributed the compensation delay to financial constraints.
Speaking during a visit to the Oyo State Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Director, Southwest Zone and National Coordinator of the Presidential Port Standing Task Team, Mr. Moses Fadipe, stated that “One of the germane issues surrounding this visit is the compensation to the land owners at the Inland Dry Port site at Olorisa-Oko, Moniya, Ibadan.
“We will like to get clarity on this issue because the Chinese who are the concessionaires are afraid of footing the entire project without getting the consideration of the Oyo State government on the compensation to land owners.”
Fadipe added that part of the understanding of the project initially was that the state government will participate fully whereby the project will be free from all encumbrances so that it can be completed on the specific time- line.
The NSC South-West director, therefore, reiterated the agency’s commitment to collaborate with the ministry and see how to drive some cardinal areas where the importers and exporters will be brought together in Ibadan.
Mr. Fadipe also commended the commissioner for Trade and Investment, Ademola Ojo, for the formation of the export committee that has been put in place.
Responding on the land compensation delay, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Dr Bunmi Babalola, said paucity of funds led to delay in completing compensation to the land owners.
“The issue of compensation to the land owners has become a huge task due to lack of funds,” he said.
Babalola further added that approval and release of funds are two different things entirely. He said he cannot say at what level the issue of compensation is at the moment.
Also speaking during the visit, the commissioner said that the issue of land compensation lies solely under the purview of the Oyo State Ministry of Lands Bureau.
“I remember that some payments were made before. Maybe they have not been completed. The issue of land compensation is under the Ministry of Lands in Oyo State. I will however suggest that a memo, which will include what has been discussed during this visit, be raised and forwarded to the. Governor,” Ojo stated.
The commissioner also asked the NSC to write formally to the ministry on the status report of the Ibadan Inland Dry Port and request for a meeting with the Importers and exporters in the state.