…Begin Dismantling Your Structures, Evacuate valuables – Govt
By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
Following the planned demolition of 13 Filling Stations at Ekwuluobia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to compensate adequately, the owners of the 13 functional filling stations in the area.
The proposed demolition of 13 functional filling stations, according to the Anambra State Government, was to make way for the construction of a flyover in the Ekwulobia area of Anambra State.
The marketers, in a letter signed by Chinedu Anyaso, chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Community Depot in charge of the Southeast Zone, called on Gov Soludo to resolve the issue amicably.
He said the marketers that would be affected had expressed worries over the planned demolition of their premises without any compensation plan by the government.
According to Anyaso, the filing stations; Matino Oil, and Ngozi Petroleum, are on Orlu Road, Ekwulobia; while Pap Oil, Evkkins Oil, Ernmaco Petroleum, Narco Oil, and NIPCO, are all located along Awka Road, Ekwulobia.
Others are Jolet Oil, Best Abino Oil, God’s Decision Oil, and Hachele Petrogas, located along Igboukwu Road, Ekwulobia; as well as Narco Oil and God’s Decision Oil, sited along Oko Road in the same area.
The IPMAN chairman begged the government not to push members out of their businesses and means of livelihood, adding that the marketers were in full support of Soludo’s infrastructural transformation agenda, including the flyover project, because of its attendant benefits.
‘Our members in Ekwulobia axis have made official reports to our NEC through the zonal office in respect of the proposed Ekwulobia Flyover which will adversely affect their means of livelihood.
‘About 13 of their operational filling stations with current documents have been marked out for demolition.
‘As a body, we appreciate every move towards infrastructural development and applaud the giant strides of the governor in that respect.
‘But we also want you to understand that most of our members that are affected by the proposed project rely heavily on those outlets as their means of survival and sustenance to their families and other dependents,’ he said.
Ayanso said IPMAN would like to schedule a meeting with the governor on how to resettle the displaced members.
Meanwhile, the Anambra Government said the construction of the Ekwulobia Flyover had been awarded and would soon commence.
In an official statement signed by Paul Nwosu, Commissioner for Information, the government asked business owners whose property and shops were on the right of way of the flyover or encroached into the road corridor, to leave.
‘Owners of such property and shops are hereby advised to begin to dismantle their structures and evacuate their valuables immediately as agreed in the last stakeholders’ meeting,’ the statement read.
Soludo, who disclosed that the decision was reached during the stakeholders’ meeting, urged those concerned to start dismantling their structures in the marked out area.
Speaking through the Commissioner for Information, in a statement, the governor said such facilities would be affected to the extent of their encroachment on the road corridor.
The statement, titled, ‘Construction of Ekwulobia Flyover to Commence Soon,’ noted: “Government is informing those whose property and shops are on right of way of the flyover that their facilities will be affected to the extent of their encroachment on the road corridor.
‘Owners of such property and shops are hereby advised to begin dismantling their structures and evacuate their valuables immediately as agreed in the last stakeholders’ meeting’. ”
It will be recalled that the Commissioner for Works, Ifeanyi Okoma, had, during the inauguration of construction work in March, disclosed that a first modern bus terminal would be built in the location with capacity to accommodate 100 buses, while four kilometers of roads would be constructed round it, among others.