By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
Delta State Commissioner for Urban Renewal, Olorogun Arthur Akpovwovwo has urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio to revisit the completed sections of the East-West road that are already failing.
Akpovwovwo made this demand in Abuja during the ‘Round Table Meeting of Counterparts with Akpabio on the Complementary Programme for the East-West road project.
His words: “I was particularly talking about the delay in the construction of East-West road and I was urging the ministry of Niger Delta who is in charge of the project to ensure the completion of the road and also drew the attention of the minister to the completed section because even the completed section are already failing.
“So therefore, at the completion of section 4 and 5, which is from Oron to Calabar they should do an overlay so that the road can last for the benefit of the Niger Delta people.”
The Commissioner who is also the focal person for Delta State disclosed that the team is dwelling on the green areas of the road that have not been compromised, adding that they will ensure that the areas are maintained and look into the possibility of municipalities in places like Ughelli, Okwokorkor among others.
He continued: “A consultant will be appointed to take proper inventory of those who have received compensation and know the areas where compensation are required.
“That is why we are urging the states to submit inventories of approval granted over the years for development of areas like Ughelli Okwokorkor and Patani and some part of Effurun.
“The essence of the inventory is to enable the consultant get the building permit of those areas and carry out proper compensation before those building can go.
“The Right of way of that East-West road which has to do with the federal act, allows the federal government to posses 45.72 kilometers on both end of the road, those areas that has not be compromised, nobody should compromised, but the once that are already compromised we will ensure that people’s livelihoods are not cut short.”
Responding, Akpabio indicted Calabar people for the delay in delivering Section V, adding that from the records available at the ministry, the contract was awarded for N265m for 23 kilometers, but the plan was altered because of cemetery and claims that graves would be excavated.
“So, the result was that the price increased from the initial N265m to N495m. How do we handle that when the Federal Government is getting demands from all over the country?
“I thought we should go back to the original design, which will give us a straight line and when we get to the cemetery, part of the grave yard must give way, but we will do our best to ensure it passes through the FEC,” he stated.
The minister revealed that the ministry targeted December 2021 to deliver Sections I-IV of the East-West road, saying: “The management of the corridor is also important such that it will enable the development of aesthetics and other infrastructure along the road network.”
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