Thursday, October 8, 2015 11:19 pm
*Project passes EIA test
Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River state has said that the environmental concerns raised against the construction of a super high-way linking Calabar with northern parts of the state have been addressed.
Confirming this development to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ayade said a new date for the project’s ground breaking to be performed by President Muhammadu Buhari would be announced.
“Basically that is one of the reasons why I’m here. There were speculations in the press linking the shift in the visit to politics; linking the shift to so many considerations other than what was real.
“Basically what happened was that there was an environmental issue which was duly raised by the Ministry of Environment and all of those issues and concern that were expressed have been addressed.
“Basically there was a conception that the proposed super high-way was to crisscross into the national park, which is the greatest habitation for our biodiversity in Africa.
“Therefore, given the perspective of an environmental concern, it was totally impossible for Mr President that we know, with his high level of integrity and morality, to come and do the ground breaking if the project has such characteristics.’’
He dismissed reports in some quarters that the suspension of the ground breaking ceremony of the road project was politically motivated.
According to him, the national conservation and the Ministry of Environment were fully involved in ensuring that the route for the project was designed in such a way that it would not have a negative impact on the communities and the national forest.
“So, it is against that background that the President asked that we wait for all of those bits and pieces to be tidied up before he can come.
“It has no link with politics; it is not connected with the issues concerning funding.
“It was basically a technical issue that needed to be resolved and it has been resolved and I am happy to announce that the discussion with Mr. President this morning it is obvious that very soon a new date will be communicated.’’