Community kicks as Jang demolishes Jos ICD

The implementation of the Jos Inland Container Depot (ICD) has come under threat following the demolition of the structures by the Plateau State Government.

The ICD is located in Heipang in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.

The Group General Manager, Duncan Group of Companies – operators of the ICD- Dr. Godfrey Shitgurum, said on yesterday that despite the Federal High Court Jos injunction restraining Governor Jonah Jang and the Jos Metropolitan Development Board, the government demolished structures at the site of Jos Inland Container Depot.

According to him, the injunction was served and received by JMDB and the Plateau State Ministry of Justice on Monday last week, by one Christiana Bot of JMDB and Huwa Samuel of the State ministry of Justice.

Addressing newsmen in Jos yesterday, Shitgurum expressed regret that the state government, which had supported the project, turned round to reject it.

He said among items destroyed were the gate of the complex, which was 86 per cent completed and the administrative block,  over 26,000 blocks, timber and several items, which could have been used for the ongoing project.

He said, “It has become imperative for us at Duncan Maritime Ventures Limited to state our position, following the destruction of our facilities at the Jos Inland Container Depot, Heipang, by the Plateau State Government through its agency, the Jos Metropolitan Development Board with the view to putting the record straight and disabuse certain misconceptions.”

The GGM pointed out that since the inception of the Jos ICD project, transactions had been between DMVL and the Federal Government through the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

He explained that the firm had not had any direct contact with the Plateau State Government, adding that they were surprised that without any information from either the Ministry of Transport or the NSC, the JMDB moved into their site at the ICD Heipang.

According to him, the Federal Government sets up ICDs to bring the facilities closer the majority of Nigerians in the hinterland as well as reduce the cost of clearing goods, lower the prices of commodities, reduce unemployment rate, facilitate additional development in the benefiting states among others.

Meanwhile the leader of Heipang Community Development Association, Justice Iliya Mwadkon (rtd), has appealed to the federal and state governments to “put aside their differences” over the Jos ICD in the interest of the state and its people.

He said: “We, the people of Heipang, are still in the dark over this issue. Is it that the demolition was because the state government was not satisfied with how the structure was built by the contractor or that the land was never handed over to the Federal Government? My appeal is that the state government should consider that we members of this community allowed this project to be sited here. We need to have something that can sustain us and our children.”

The youth leader of Heipang community, Monday Gyang, said: “We all mobilised the youth to the place to find out what brought about the order from the state government. We donated our farmland so that we can benefit materially and otherwise.”

He said the demolition will result to financial loss to the country because “the project had reached an advanced stage”.

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