From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government has approved the construction of the Trans-Kalabari and Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono road projects at the cost of N27.6billion.
The two road projects approved by the State Executive Council is expected to be completed within the next fourteen months.
The Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, who briefed journalists at the Government House, Port Harcourt immediately after the Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Wednesday, said the Trans-Kalabari road will be 13.599 kilometers long and will be executed by Lukrick construction company.
He explained that the road will connect several reverine communities amongst them Krakama, Omekwe-ama, Angula-ama, Mina-ama and some other communities in the Kalabari area of the State.
“The project will cost N13.6billion and will have 14 months duration, financed by irrevocable standing payment order drawn against the State Internal Revenue, meaning that every month the contractor will be paid N1 Billon and there will be no delays.
“This will guarantee the project is not stalled and completed within the time frame stipulated and agreed with the State government. This I believe will be useful to the people in the area and ease their transport.”
Tasie-Amadi also disclosed that the Council approved the construction of the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Phase 2 road project which starts from Bori to Kono.
“It is a 17 kilometer road and the cost of the project is N14 Billion . Construction time is 14 months. Payment will also be secured by an irrevocable payment standing order of N1 billion monthly drawn against the State Internal Revenue.”
The Commissioner said the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono contract will be executed by the same company that executed the Phase 1 of the road, Chinese Civil and Engineering Construction Corporation.
He stated that the reason why the cost of the Trans-Kalabari road which is 13 kilometers long and 9.3 meters wide is almost the same as that of Bori- Kono 17.1 kilometers and 24 meters wide road with street light, is because the terrains are different.
“You see the cost of building in the riverine area is nothing less than twice the cost of building on solid soil. So the Government is going through huge trouble to see that these roads are built. People will wonder why the cost are like that, the terrain determines the cost. So, it (Trans-Kalabari road ) is far more expensive to build.”
Speaking also, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim said the award of the Trans-Kalabari road by the Governor Wike’s administration is historic.
He explained that the previous government had awarded the Trans-Kalabari road to indigenes of the area who later abandoned the project for inexplicable reasons.
Nsirim said the Wike’s administration is not only desirous that the project kicks off, but that it is completed as scheduled.
“With the kind of payment plan, this project will not be abandoned, but completed.”
The Commissioner for Information said noted that the two major roads which are located outside the city centre is a further testimony that Governor Wike has remained steadfast in spreading development to every nooks and crannies of the State