The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on Friday assured the public of its commitment to complete the remaining part of the East-West Road to enhance its economic use.
Mr Folorunso Esan, Director, High Way and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works, disclosed this in Port Harcourt, during the inspection of the road handed over to the Ministry by the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry.
The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on May 31, handed over the completion of the road from Section 1-4 to the Ministry of Works and Housing, to ensure speedy completion of the project and achieve the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Esan stated that the Ministry was on inspection to ascertain the level of the work completed and the ones yet to be completed as they took over the completion of the road from the Niger Delta Ministry.
He noted that the entire road was about 388 km and the Onne Eleme axis just 15, km as such could not be beyond what the ministry could surmount in good time and deliver the whole project.
Esan explained that there were two sections of the construction; one of the sections was from Port Harcourt to Ahoada; section two, sub section one of 47 km which had been completed and the marking started.
According to him, the only outstanding section is the upgrading of the Onne junction to Eleme, and it requires additional approval for augmentation.
“We are seeking for the approval to add more money to the contractor to take care of the upgrading.
“The other 19 km axis of Bayelsa to Mbiama junction road, also handled by Cetraco, are still part of it and they are going to be done as it is also on documentation,” he said.
Esan mentioned the drains as one of the challenges of the Onne Eleme axis due to the blockage of all the water ways to chanel water on that route.
He stated that even if the roads were repaired, they would still go bad due to lack of drains, saying that the ministry would see what it could do about the drainage system when it starts work on site.
Mr Godwin Ekeh, the Director, High Way South-South, said since government was continuum, it was the reason for the take over of the project from the Niger Delta Ministry by the Federal Ministry of Works.
He stated that the aim of the inspection was to ascertain if what they saw on handover paper were verifiable on the site, adding that they had seen it and had completed most of them.
According to Ekeh, “some areas with small faults are what we can handle and we have what we call augumentation, which is revised total cost, and when it is approved, we will come back to site, we also have another window of funding called Sukuk.
“All the contractors that handled them before now were given money, so once we are paid, we believe the contractors will go back to site.
“We have processes to follow and we are on it; we are talking about 100 km in a whole from the Eket Akwa-Ibom axis to Port Harcourt,” he said.
He assured the public that the project would be completed and not abounded.
Mr Koya Olugbenga, the Controller of Works in Rivers, also urged the public to be calm as the road would be completed because efforts were geared towards the direction by the Federal Government.
According to Olugbenga, the road is important to the administration and that is why it is doing everything possible to achieve it.
“Though funding has been a major issue, you cannot compare the funding that will be used by Federal Ministry of Works to that spent by the Niger Delta Ministry,” he said.
Olugbenga also assured the public that work would not stop as soon as every process of documentation was through because funding was virtually perfected.