By Kenneth Ehigiator
LAGOSâ€”The Federal Government has paid N200 million as land compensation to two communities around Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, River State, which lands were taken for construction of a perimeter fencing for the airport.
Communities, comprising Omagwa and Ipo, had overtime, agitated for compensation for the take over of their land for the perimeter fence project, threatening to frustrate the job should government do otherwise.
General Manager, Public Affairs of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Akin Olukunle, said, in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, that the N200 million was paid last week to Mr. Reginald Nnwoka, solicitor to Omagwa and Ipo communities, which are the owners of the acquired land for the construction of Port Harcourt International Airport.
According to him, the payment of compensation to the host communitiesâ€™ solicitor is in conformity with the advice of Rivers State government that the compensation be paid to the beneficiaries through their attorney.
Olukunle said the money covered the survey of their entire land area of the airport, adding that the solicitor was expected to distribute the money to all the beneficiaries according to the number of acres of land possessed by each person.
He said 29 persons and communities from Omagwa community were to benefit from the compensation, while 16 groups of people from Ipo community would benefit from the money.
He said with the compensation, FAAN had won the full support and cooperation of the host communities and has intensified the construction of the expanded metal perimeter fence and asphalt road at the Airport.
Acknowledging receipt of the money, Olukunle quoted Barrister Nnwoka as sayingÂ â€œI hereby acknowledge receipt from FAAN the sum of N200 million only as compensation in full and complete satisfaction and discharge of the claim made by the Omagwa/ Ipo communities in respect of land situated at the site of the Port Harcourt International Airport Omagwa, which was acquired by the Government under a Public Notice of the Rivers State Government No 492 of 22 November 1973 and published in gazette No.49 volume 5 of same date acting under the Public Lands Acquisition Law CAP 105 then.
â€œI hereby indemnify the government/FAAN against all claims made by any person or persons whatsoever in respect of the said land or any part thereof.â€
He also quoted the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun, as expressing his gratitude to Rivers State government and the host communities for the development and promised to do everything within his powers to upgrade the airpiort.