FALLOUT OF GOV DICKSON’S TOUR TO LGAs: GOVT APPROVES N3BN FOR THE COMPLETION OF OGBIA/NEMBE ROAD
Bayelsa State Government has approved an intervention fund of N3bn for the completion of the Ogbia/Nembe road which is expected to be completed by 2015.
The State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson during his Thank You tour to Nembe local government area of the state on Tuesday assured the people that the road would be completed by 2015, noting his economic relevance to the growth of the State.
Briefing the newsmen at the end of the 30th Executive Council meeting on Thursday, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha flanked by his works counterpart, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the Special Adviser on Political Matters, Chief Fred Agbedi said the construction of the road would reduce sea piracy on the waterways as well as boost commerce in the area.
The commissioner stated that the decision to seek for the intervention fund was in line with the promise made by the Governor during his Thank You tour to the area.
Speaking in the same vein, the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ewhrudjakpo said the road was jointly awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company in 2004 to SETRACO Plc, adding that the Government would hold discussions with the two organizations to ensure that the contractor is mobilized back to site.
The Commissioner noted that the present administration’s plan of constructing a road from Nembe to Brass would not be achieved without the completion of Ogbia/Nembe road.
He submitted, “ordinarily, we wouldn’t have been bothering ourselves with Ogbia-Nembe road but we have to do it for three reasons; the Ogbia-Nembe road, if not completed, our dream of hitting the Atlantic through the Eastern flank, which the Governor promised, and to connect Brass will not be achieved because there is no reason constructing a road between Nembe and Brass when you don’t have a road between Ogbia and Nembe. It will be foolhardy.
“Secondly, that road has become a necessity because of the need to reduce piracy and open up that area for development. Quite a good number of communities are on that alignment, and not only that; we also feel bad about the delay that road has suffered. That road was awarded in 2003/2004 and there has been variation upon variation and so we are worried.
Aside the completion of Nembe/Ogbia road, the Council, according to the Commissioner has approved the award of contract for the repair of Otuasega/Ogbia bridge and construction of internal roads in Ogbia Town.
In a related development, Government has approved the sum of N1.2bn for the payment of compensation to property owners around the Etegwe area for the construction of the second flyover in the State capital.
The compensation as disclosed by the Commissioner would be paid in phases.
His words, ‘we want to use this opportunity to reassure property owners around that area that has been marked for the construction of flyover in Etegwe that in the next one or two weeks, we will start payment of compensation and we will pay it in phases.
‘We, therefore, call for understanding from the affected property owners, so that they don’t feel as if government is not living up to its obligations. We will definitely complete the payment but you know the figure for the compensation is about N1.2 billion and you know what that means, especially since it was not planned or budgeted for.
We have to handle it in such a way that we don’t distort the budget and also breach the appropriation laws.”
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Fred Agbedi said the Council acknowledged the warm reception that was accorded the Governor and his entourage during the Thank You tour of the Eastern Senatorial district, comprising Brass, Nembe and Ogbia Local Government Areas of the State.
The tour, according to the Chief Agbedi, was broken into phases to enable the governor attend to other pressing matters.