President Muhammadu Buhari has threatened any state government or communities that try to create unnecessary problem in the allocation of land for federal projects.
Buhari said the federal government might be forced to re-allocate projects elsewhere to punish the state.
The president’s warning was contained in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Garba Shehu, on Saturday.
The statement read: “The idea of chasing away contractors on-site or making undue demands from them by local communities or the deliberate actions of State governments to frustrate the allocation of lands for federal projects is an antithesis of the people’s welfare.”
The statement disclosed that in a recent directive to Ministers, the President requested Ministers in his government to have the states clear all lingering land issues threatening federal projects under their supervision or have such projects moved to willing states where that becomes impossible.
The statement read: “some communities in the states are frustrating the siting of federal projects in their areas by making impossible demands for land compensation on contractors and even chasing them away from site where they are unable to meet up.
“To compound matters, contractors kept away from site often make further demands on payment whenever they return to site.”
The Presidency noted that the refusal to allocate land for federal projects or the growing hostility by communities against contractors on site are hurting the interests of the very people governments are elected to serve.
“By denying Federal government lands for projects and creating unnecessary obstacles for the execution of these projects, it may be unfair to turn around and accuse the same Federal government of marginalising people in terms of projects allocation,” the statement added.
“When it comes to the welfare of the people, governments at all levels should be united by the common goal of improving the well being of the people, regardless of political affiliation.
“It is, therefore, impossible to spread Federal government projects when petty demands or politics is allowed to override the higher interest of the people.”