BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
Indigenes of Ogui-Agu Eke community in Udi local government area of Enugu State have apologised to the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) for labelling the ecological project executed in the community as non-existent project by some aggrieved members of the community.
The EFO had earlier in February, commissioned and handed over a 3.8 km erosion-control and road improvement project with drainages, which was attracted to the community by the minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyema.
The 6-man delegation led by the chairman of the community, Mr Hilary Nwabuisi spoke during a press conference in Abuja yesterday to counter the claims by aggrieved members and apologise to the federal government for the series of petitions and harassment meted to the EFO since the project was executed.
Another member of the delegation, High Chief John Ezeako said the community would constitute a committee that would critically examine issues bordering on the project, just as they distanced themselves from the raging controversies.
Responding, the permanent secretary of EFO, Dr Habiba Lawal decried the constant harassment of EFO staff by the anti-graft agencies over the Enugu project despite presenting the copies of the contract and project execution schedule.
She said that after the project was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 as one of the ecological intervention projects, that EFO concluded the procurement process before the project was awarded in 2019.
The permanent secretary said that the community’s attitude would prevent the federal government from executing further projects in the community, adding that the traditional ruler of the community should be informed that the crisis would prevent further ecological interventions.
Lawal stated that the federal government has approved over 280 ecological projects across the 36 States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the last five years, adding that 210 were already completed, commissioned and handed over to the benefitting communities, while the remaining 70 are at various levels of completion.