By Obas Esiedesa
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has assured state governments in the Niger Delta region that sections I-IV of the East-West Road project will be completed and delivered by December 2021.
The Sections which run from Effurun in Delta State through Bayelsa and River states terminate at Oron in Akwa Ibom State is a 338km dual carriage way.
Dr. Akpabio who gave the assurance at a round-table meeting of Counterparts on the complementary programme for the East West Road Project in Abuja on Tuesday, observed that the road has taken too long to complete.
He explained that with the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the road project, the four sections would be delivered next year.
He said: “Under my watch, the target is to deliver completely Sections
I-IV of the East West Road on or before December 2021 and see to the award of Section V (Oron-Calabar).
“These deliverables will not be complete and adequate without a virile management support to ensure that the corridor is given proper planning, to the award of Section V (Oron-Calabar)”.
He explained that the Section V which was initially awarded by the Federal Executive Council to CCECC was delayed due to variations in the routing which shot up the cost of the project.
He said the Ministry plans to go back to the original costing of the section and get the FEC to revalidate the contract for work to commence.
He noted that just like the second Niger Bridge, the President is determined to leave lasting legacy in the oil rich Niger Delta region.
The Minister, however, pointed out that “these deliverables will not be complete and adequate without a virile management support to ensure that the corridor is given proper planning, development and management.
“The commitment that my Ministry brings to this round-table
of Counterparts must therefore be complemented by the support
of all counterparts in terms of action. The propositions on this
Programme in the short, medium and long term are for the best
interest of our people and the Niger Delta Region at large”.
He thanked the governors of the states through which the road passes, stressing cooperation is needed to ensure that the people of the region derive maximum benefits from the road.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, Permanent Secretary, Dr Babayo Ardo, representatives from Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.