Environment Ministry Faults Cross River Draft EIA Report On Super Highway | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Environment Ministry Faults Cross River Draft EIA Report On Super Highway

Posted: Jun 4, 2016 at 6:15 am   /   by   /   comments (2)


CALABAR – The Federal Ministry of Environment has faulted the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the construction of the proposed 260- kilometre super highway the Cross River State government submitted to it. It urged the state government to go back to the drawing board to be able to come up with a report that would be acceptable and meet international standard as well as follow best practices.

Speaking at the public presentation at the 13-man panel review meeting of the Environment Impact Assessment of 260km Calabar-Ikom-Katsina Ala Super highway project in Cross River State on Thursday, Hajia Amina Mohammed, the Minister of Environment, scored the EIA low saying what was presented cannot meet international standard but only for local consumption. Represented by Mr. J. A. Alonge, a senior staff of the Ministry, the minister said that the issue of EIA was not the business of sentiments but that of transparency, quality degree of honesty so as to attract international participation and that the panel as constituted would take decision on whether to approve the EIA or not.

The minister said, “The Ministry was not partnering with the Cross River State Government to do what they like, and any infrastructure project have to ensure environmental sustainability.” The ministry expressed concern on the issue of funding and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) which would trigger safeguard issues, asking, “Are the resources available and can this document (draft EIA) attract financial assistance from participating financial institutions? There is no where that the state government can go without the international institutions.

The critical eco- system like the National Park and endemic issues is important and should be looked at.” They added that Nigeria shares lots of issues with UNESCO and other international organisations on biodiversity and conservation recognised as extreme watershed for generations unborn and because of that, “the Ministry said the project must undergo EIA and this will inform final decision on the project.” Professor Abubarkar Sambo, chairman of the panel, expressed happiness with the kind of excitement the EIA presentation generated from those for and against.

Mr. John Inyang, Commissioner for Lands, defending the position of the state government said, “some of the comments raised are critical and we will take them into consideration when we come back.” Similarly, Dane OsimAsu, Works Commissioner, argued that due to deplorable state of the existing Calabar- Ogoja federal highway, it now takes eight hours for motorists plying the road from Calabar to Ogoja. He maintained that the proposed super highway, when completed would take just two hours from Calabar to Ogoja.

Comments (2)

  • Jun 6, 2016 at 10:04 am GreenNinja_1

    Fred Adeola My brother i wonder…. Its ridiculous… so much fiscal recklessness… when considering the challenges of the cross river people, i cannot help but wonder how a road leading to nowhere in katsina would create jobs, revamp the schools and university infrastructure. There is just so much secrecy and no public consultation. Well done MoEnv. Its hard time State Governor get responsible and answerable to the people.

  • Jun 4, 2016 at 11:17 am Fred Adeola

    So because the Calabar – Ogoja existing highway is in a deplorable state, so you borrow money to build another one instead of fixing the existing. Which type of silly reasoning is that?

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