Crisis is currently brewing between Ete Communities in Akwa Ibom State and National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) over alleged refusal by NIPP to pay compensation on properties affected by the Ikot Ekpene Ikot Abasi 330KVA transmission line project lot 18 passing through a section of the communities.
The project, which was handled by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC), affected 12 communities in Ikot Abasi Council Area.
The villages are: Abiaran; Ete; Ekpuk Inang; Umeneke II, Ikot Akan; Abasute; Ikot Etenge Ete; Okpot; Odione Isoutibe; Obioakama; Umeneke I and Essienetuk.
A community leader, Nseyo Ekwere, who spoke to reporters yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital, explained that the properties of Ete communities were affected by the proposed project and based on valuation report of the consultant to the project, Mr. Joe Ettaba, the communities are entitled to a total sum of N679, 801, 817.00 as compensation.
Ekwere explained that NIPP was yet to pay the compensation despite several letters written by the lawyers of the affected communities.
He said: “We have not been paid compensation and we have realised that the Bureau of Public Procurement had certified us for compensation after leaving the sum of N4.1 billion for the project.”
Ekwere also explained that prior to the commencement of work by NDPHC, the communities wrote a letter of demand for compensation to the company and the company in reply dated May 27, 2014 intimated them for the first time that Messrs Ene and Associates was contracted through Akwa Ibom State Government, to reevaluate and pay compensation for the project.
Ikot Abasi is located in the south west corner of Akwa Ibom State. It is bounded by Oruk Anam Local Government Area in the north, Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the south.