By Godspower Edoza
The East-West road under construction for about 12 years now will soon be delivered as the federal government is sourcing for N100billion to complete the remaining sections.
The road awarded about 12 years ago spans from Warri in Delta State to Oron, in Akwa Ibom state.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who inspected the stretch of the road from Warri to Port Harcourt on Thursday said the road isn’t in bad state as claimed by some people.
The minister who was accompanied on the inspection by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, under whose ministry the dualisation of the East West road is being executed said the entire road may be completed in about two years if the funds are available.
The road is being handled by two contractors, Setraco and RCC. Setraco is handling from Warri to Port Harcourt (101.5km) while RCC is handling from Port Harcourt to Oron which is 99km.
“My initial knowledge on what our opponents are saying, is that we have abandoned the East-West road. We drove all the way from Warri without heating any bad road. So, in some areas, one lane has been completed, in some areas, the two lanes have been completed. So, it means that you can drive all the way from Warri and to Port Harcourt without having to issues,” Amaechi said.
“If I didn’t come, I would have been among those that think that nothing is happening in the Niger Delta. That’s why I told all the transportation correspondents to come and see things as they are. If it is bad, they should report it that it is bad. But, I am sure you will not report that it is bad because we drove all the way from Benin to Port-Harcourt and there was no pot hole,” he said.
“Those areas where they’ve not completed the second lane, you heard the man saying that if they get the sum of N57 billion, they will complete it. So, I think that, most people are politicising the road. You see what RCC have said now, from Onne to Eket has been completed apart from the bridge that is collapsing somewhere. If they complete it from Onne to Eket, it means that, that section has been completed” Amaechi said further.
He further said that from Warri to Patani is one lane that is yet to be completed adding that the second lane, from Patani to Ahonda and from Ahonda to Elelameni is being completed all the way to Port Harcourt.
He called on Niger Delta youths to refrain from kidnappings and allow contractors execute projects in the region for the good of the people.
The minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani, said, “This project started in 2006, so it is 12 years old today. I would say so far, the progress made upon our entry into the project on a proportionate rate has been far more progressive than the previous administration. We have actually done much to give it preference.’
“Basically lack of funds has been responsible for the delay in the delivery of the project. The contractors need funds to continue and be permanently on site to execute the job and complete.”
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