By Ushang Ewa
The Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) has accused the Cross River State government of unwillingness to abide by the provisions of the constitution as regarding the proposed 260 kilometres Superhighway.
This was contained in a statement by the Director General of the NCF Adeniyi Karunwi which said the government cannot resume work on the proposed super-highway as it is yet ot meet the guidelines set reports The Nation.
Advising the state government to adhere strictly to the provisions contained in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act and suspend construction plans, the NCF said that the revised EIA submitted in January was fraught with errors and the road will create problems for the environment.
“Contrary to the claim that the Cross River State government has met all guidelines, the belated EIA report was full of errors and inconsistencies.
“A revised EIA and BAP from the state government was submitted last January to the FME, which was passed to relevant stakeholders, including NCF, for further review. It was observed that the revised reports were fraught with inconsistencies, misrepresentations, falsification and errors. The observations were recently conveyed to the FME.
“The threat by the state government to continue with the construction without an approved EIA goes to show the level at which it is unwilling to abide by the laws governing major development projects. It should be stated here that all such projects all over the country are obliged to follow the EIA Act.
“No mention was made of over 185 communities that will be totally displaced from their ancestral lands and the vast acreage of forest land that will be destroyed” the statement read.
But, the state government has threatened to resume work in two weeks after giving an ultimatum to the federal government.
The spokesperson of the government and Commissioner for Information, Rosemary Archibong announced that the state will recommence the construction of the 260 kilometres Superhighway if by the second week of March 2017 or thereabout, the Federal government has not approved the EIA to start the full construction of the road.
Archibong said the state’s patience has been over-stretched and that the government of Cross River may not be able to wait any longer beyond the end of March, 2017, at most, if the approval refuses to come and frowned at what she described as the continuous politicization by some detractors within and outside the state, of the star projects of the Governor Ben Ayade’s administration tagged, the “Signature Projects.”