The Federal Government on Tuesday, inaugurated the N2.1 billion, 7.85 km single carriageway Isoko Ring Road (Aviara-Uzere) in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who unveiled the project, said that with the harvests of completed roads, bridges and other infrastructural projects being witnessed across the country, government investments have started yielding results.
The project was awarded to Messrs Levant Constriction Limited on Dec. 6, 2013 at a total contract sum of N2.1 billion.
Represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, the President said the Federal Government was committed to completing various roads projects across the country.
This, he said, was to link communities and create ease flow of transportation for human and material movement.
“It is our commitment to improve road transport infrastructure and our determination to improve and ease doing business, create jobs and lift people out of poverty.
“These are the things that brought us here today because the results of our investment are manifesting.
“I can confidently say that as we enter the final lap of the tenure of our administration, we are also entering a season of completion and delivery of projects.
“As you can all see, we are handing over today the 7.85 Km Road, which links Aviara-Uzere in Delta.
“A very important road that connects agrarian and fishing communities to ease the movement of their farm products. Linking these communities together, this road becomes a critical component of our national road network,” he said.
Buhari noted that the road had been built to the highest quality of design and workmanship, adding that if well used and not abused, it would last for the designed service life.
He warned against road abuse such as overloading of vehicles and trucks that accelerated pavement damage and spilling of petroleum products among other practices that could damage the roads.
“We must all do our best to avoid these practices, report them when they occur and act in a lawful manner to stop them.
“The road is also a story of the capacity of our people and how patriotic Nigerians who were employed directly to build the road.
“The scores of suppliers employed indirectly who are responsible for providing the machines utilised in the construction,” he said.
He, however, urged the people to always maintain the speed limits of 100 km per hour on the highways.
Speaking, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, represented by Mr Peter Umoren, Deputy Director Highways in the ministry, said the inauguration was the beginning of the second phase of projects completion across Nigeria.
According to Fashola, more completed roads projects will be handed over to communities and governments of Yobe, Nassarawa, Gombe among others states which flagged-off in Ekiti and Jigawa States.
“These projects represent major investment in road transport infrastructure, which is a commitment of Buhari administration as a driver for economic growth and prosperity.
“They are visible and incontrovertible assets in proof of what Nigeria’s resources are invested in from a combination of our earned resources and borrowings,’’ he said.
Thanking all stakeholders in the projects including the communities, Fashola lauded the presidency for their leadership, adding that his leadership was bearing fruits and the evidence of change manifesting.
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by Commissioner for Works (Urban and Highways), Mr Noel Omodon, lauded the Federal Government for the project and called for more partnership to ensure rehabilitation of roads and bridges completion.
According to Okowa, the state government is currently saddled with the construction of the Ughelli-Asaba Federal Highway and the Koka flyover bridge along Asaba-Onitsha Expressway among others.
He appealed to the Federal Government to consider rehabilitating and reconstruction of the Benin-Warri Expressway, the Sapele-Agbor Expressway and others which currently deplorable.
In his address of welcome, Mr Bashir Alkali, Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Works and Housing, said that Buhari’s agenda of developing roads infrastructure was a policy direction focusing on jobs creation and economic development.
Alkali, represented by represented by Mr Olawale Jimoh, Federal Controller of Works in Delta, said the construction of the Isoko ring road was aimed at promoting local content.
“The focus is to link the major arterial roads to refineries, ports, tertiary institutions and high volume commercial centres with a view to reducing travelling times vehicle maintenance costs, safety and security of computers,” he said.
On his part, Mr Ghassan Fadel, Area Manager, Levant Construction Limited, lauded the community, Federal Government and all stakeholders for the completion of the project.
According to him, the community before the completion of the 7.85 km ring road had difficulty moving their wares in and out of the community.
The President -General, Uzere Community, Mr Brooklyn Essi, represented by Sir Edjoor Uyeh, thanked the Federal Government for the projects.
Essi, however, urged government to construct link bridges for the communities and drainage channels to arrest the annual flooding witnessed in the community which he said could damage the roads.(NAN)