From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari will commission sections 1 to 4 of the East-West road in 2022.
Akpabio explained that the road had been in a deplorable condition because the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo did not approve of it.
The minister, who spoke yesterday when a group known as the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Forum paid him a courtesy call in Abuja, disclosed that about N4.9 billion had been released.
Aside from encouraging them to remain peaceful and focused so as to attract more projects to the region, he promised to always hearken to their calls.
“We are also discussing to deliver issuance of forms to the Debt Management Office (BMO) to get a special intervention to undertake that particular section because I believe that with that, other sections will be completed.
“I do know that the President wants to commission sections 1 to 4 from Effuru to across the Niger Delta all the way to Oron, at least by next year.
“The section of the East-West road that is very bad is Eleme Junction to Port Harcourt, it is about 15 kilometres, and was not in the original contract that was given out in 2006 by President Obasanjo, because at that time, that section was already dualised and the two bridges were functional.
But because of the fact that that road takes over 5,000 trucks a day, it has always broken down and something needs to be done. I tried to explain to Ogoni leaders that the Federal Government is not sleeping, but working hard redesigning the entirety of the place.
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