From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Government has awarded contracts for the reconstruction of Oyigbo-Okoloma and Chokocho-Igbodo Roads in Oyigbo and Etche Local Government Areas of the State respectively.

Governor Nyesom Wike said it takes a government that cares for the development and wellbeing of the people to be awarded such significant contracts at the twilight of the administration.

Governor Wike stated this shortly after the Rivers State government signed a contract with Lubrik Construction Company and SETRACO Nigeria Limited at Government House, Port Harcourt, Monday.

The contract for the reconstruction of Oyigbo-Okoloma Road was awarded to Lubrik Construction Company, while that of Chokocho-Igbodo Road, was awarded to SETRACO Nigeria Limited.

The governor said despite the fact that the 19.4 kilometres Oyigbo-Okoloma and the 27.1 kilometres Chokocho-Igbodo roads belong to the Federal Government, the State government decided to award contracts to alleviate the sufferings of the people of the two Local Government Areas.

Governor Wike said the moment the State government announced that a contract would be awarded for the reconstruction of Chokocho-Igbodo, some narrow-minded persons attempted to play politics with the road, by hurriedly mobilising Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to site.

He explained that irrespective of an attempt to politicise the project, his administration could not continue to stand by and watch the people of both Oyigbo and Etche continue to suffer due to Federal Government’s negligence.

‘These two roads are very key to the people of Etche and the people of Oyigbo. These are not the only projects we have embarked upon in these two local governments. But, these two projects are projects that are so impactful on the lives of the people of Oyigbo and Etche,’ the governor stated.

‘The Chokocho-Igbodo road is a federal road because it is a road from Rivers State to Imo State. But, as I said, Rivers people, Etche people are suffering and, therefore, it behoves on us to make sure we reduced the burden of suffering on our people.

‘Etche is noted to be the food basket of Rivers State and if we cannot give them that confidence and sense of belonging as people from the state, then, we have failed in our mandate, we have failed in our contract with the people of the state.’

Governor Wike reiterated that no projects awarded by his administration would be abandoned, even as no contractor would be owed.

‘These two roads are very key to us, and it must be accomplished in 12 months time. No contract will be abandoned under this government and nobody will be owed. By the grace of God, we are doing the best in terms of payment to contractors.’

The governor also enjoined the companies to apply the local content policy by employing indigenes of the areas in direct labour and to award contracts to them to supply materials that would be used on-site while the contract lasts.

In his speech, the Director, Lubrik Construction Company, Mr Gilbert Sassine, thanked Governor Wike for the renewed trust in the company and promised to deliver quality road within the 12 months stipulated time.

Similarly, the Managing Director SETRACO Nigeria Limited, Dr Ray Chaudhuri, pledged to work assiduously to deliver the project for benefit of the Rivers people.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Emenike, signed the contracts on behalf of the Rivers State Government, while Mr Sassine and Dr Chaudhuri signed for their respective companies.

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Source: news