The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has reiterated the commitment of President Mohammadu Buhari to the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta region, in the area of infrastructure.
Akpabio made the remarks during an emergency meeting with contractors handling the various sections of the East West road led by the new Managing Director of the Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), Engineer Nader Yusuf, on Thursday.
He stressed that the Buhari administration would not compromise his determination to provide quality infrastructure for the people of the Niger Delta Region, adding “that is why when we received a report on the damaged Aleto bridge, at km 6+500 on the East West Section 111(A), by Eleme, Onne Junction was impassable and causing hardship for commuters, the President approved the immediately repairs of the portion.”
The minister also revealed that “the construction of the road which started in 2006 was abandoned for about six years due to human and natural challenges, but since my assumption of office in 2019, the present administration which is a problem solving government has mobilized resources to ensure that the East-West road is completed and commissioned by 2022”.
Akpabio further said, “various sections of the road which have been in limbo over the years have attained various levels of completion and would be due for commissioning by the President soon, affirming, that issue of compensation would be addressed in no time”.
He noted that the ministry had also undertaken the construction of other roads which include Okpuala Igwurunta road Phase 1, in Imo State, Ndemili road in Delta State, Umueze road in Rivers State and Otuo Afuze road in Edo State, which have all been completed and ready for commissioning by the president.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Babayo Ardo reaffirmed that work had been ongoing on the East-West road for the past two years and all efforts had been geared towards the completion and commissioning of the road before the end of the first quarter of 2022 as directed by the president.
In his response, the Managing Director, RCC Nigeria Limited, Engineer Nader Yusuf stated that there were insinuations that sand mining around the river bank affected the foundation of the Aleto Bridge.
He assured that engineers would ascertain the real cause of the damage and carry out concrete repairs to aid free flow of traffic on the affected portions of the road. Yusuf also promised the minister that engineers would move to site immediately to make the road motorable for road users.