By Our Correspondent
The Federal Government has commended the Cross River State Government for embarking on the 260km superhighway project.
Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Muhammed gave the commendation when she led a team from her Ministry to the project site in Nsan, Akamkpa, recently.
She lauded the state government for conceiving the project which she noted was critical to the development of the state and its people.
According to her, “Everyone here is in agreement that infrastructure is the bedrock which we build sustainable development and this project will touch everybody particularly those at the grassroots. So this is a laudable vision.”
The Minister said she was also satisfied with plans put in place by the state government to maintain balance in the eco-system.
She assured that her ministry will ensure that concerns expressed by environmental advocacy groups and the host communities were addressed.
“In as much as we commend this project, we need to strike a balance between development and the environment in a sustainable manner and guide against environmental degradation during the development for posterity sake.
“We are here to sit together and address some of the issues raised from some quotas regarding the project and we are hopeful that it will be tackled amicably.”
Amina commended Governor Ben Ayade for the establishment of the Green Police as well as his plan to replace every tree destroyed with two of its species as work progresses.
At the site of the construction, the Minister was greeted by the host communities who rolled out the drums in appreciation and support for the project with their youths carrying placards with inscription, “Ayade you are a good dreamer”, “Superhighway is our general desire, no stopping,” “Almighty God will bring Superhighway to fulfilment.”
In his welcome remark, Clan Head of Akamkpa Urban, Ntufam Paul Ogar, who spoke on behalf of the host communities pledged their unalloyed support to the project and thanked the Minister for paying a visit to site to see things for herself.”
Earlier, during a courtesy visit on him by the Minister, the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu said: “Our governor is an environmentalist, I am a soil scientist, and we are very concerned about climate change and other related environmental issues especially forestry development. So, we can’t be preachers of environmental conservation and do otherwise.”
Continuing he said: “We are passionate about environment and so we are very proud of the National Park because it’s our heritage. In addition, we have the highest rain forest in the country and we are the 25th biodiversity hotspot in the world and no way will we do anything to jeopardize this environmental conservation efforts.”
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