Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Why Ayade’s Super Highway may not be see the light of the day

The much-vaunted but controversial six lane, 275km long super highway proposed by the Sen. Ben Ayade’s administration may not see the light of the day if information gathered by TDN is anything to go by.

The Federal Ministry of Environment on Thursday, June 29, 2017 in Abuja handed the conditionally-approved EIA report (along with the conditions) to the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ivara Esu. which the state government threw a party and celebrated the document making everybody to believe that the EIA report had been finally approved. But what Ayade and his cohort did not tell Cross Riverians was that the Federal ministry of environment handed over a conditional approval to the State Government.

Recall that Ayade had initially refused to carry out a Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the project which would have enabled the state government to ascertain the level of impact the project would have on the affected communities.

The EIA approval that was given to then deputy governor by the Federal Ministry of Environment has about 23 conditions which the state government must meet before full and complete approval can be given for work to commence on the site. Some of these conditions must be met with a space of two weeks.
 It is based on these over 20 conditions and the time frame given to the state government that TDN wonders if Ayade’s super Highway will eventually see the light of the day.

 While handing over the document to Pof. Ivara Esus, the Environment Minister of State, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said that all conditions must be met before a final approval is given to the EIA report to signal commencement of work. He added that there would be a review within the next two or three weeks.

According to Environews.com, “Ayade has been given approval to go ahead with the super highway, “but the route may now be jettisoned for another, going by fresh conditions given by the federal government to the state government.”

one of the 23 conditions to be met by Cross River before the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is approved and work can fully commence on site, the CRSG is to ensure that the updated maps in the new EIA must show that the “re-routed road corridor cognisance of the boundary of Cross River National Park and Ekuri Community Forest as well as conform to international best practices on setbacks for highways in critical ecosystems such as the proposed corridor.” In other words, state authorities were told that the road should neither cut through Ekuri nor the CRNP.”

Also Read: 23 conditions for Super Highway EIA to be approvedhttps://thedailynewsng.blogspot.com/2017/07/super-highway-eai-aproval-super-story.html

Ukorebi Esien
Blogs and Edits for TDN