The Federal Government has released a total sum of N7 billion for the completion of the East-West highway dualisation projects.
The government, while releasing the money to the contractors handling the projects, urged them to comply with the directives in order to complete and hand over the project to the people of the region before the end of the First Quarter 2022.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, disclosed this at the inspection of the East-West road from Section II Sub Section II, Ahoada – Kaima, to Section II Sub Section I, Eleme Junction – Ahoada, and Section IIIA, Eleme Junction – Onne Port Junction, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Sen. Alasoadura inspected various sites to ascertain the progress of work on the East West Road. At Ahoada – Kaima Section II Sub Section II, he observed that due to the bad terrain, huge volume of earthwork is ongoing to stabilize the soil to accommodate suitable materials for road construction, while Sub-section l is near completion. He projected that Ahoada-Kaima Section II is expected to be commissioned soon.
At Obikwere flyover, the site contractor informed the Minister of the failed drainage system which has caused constant water retention around the corridor, adding that the proposal to correct the anomaly would be sent to the Ministry for approval.
In inspection of Section IIIA, the Minister said that the contract was awarded to ensure safe and efficient movement of traffic along the already dualized 15KM stretch of the Highway from the Onne Port Refinery, Eleme Petrochemicals and other industries along the highway by eliminating traffic bottlenecks and ensuring well drained and durable road.
Senator Alasoadura added that the completion of the East-West road is a major priority of this present administration to see to the end of the completion, a project which was awarded 20 years ago even if it involves borrowing.
While inspecting, the Minister decried the alarming state of the Aleto Bridge in Section IIIA of the East-West road and sought urgent attention to fix it, before it collapses.
“We have to put all our resources, energy and goodwill together to ensure that it is urgently reconstructed for the movement of goods and services that will benefit the people of region and the nation at large”, he added.
Responding to the Minister, the Chief Engineer, Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria Limited, RCC, Zavontenik Igor, said the Contract was awarded in December 1st, 2014, at the Contract sum of N43, 869,381,730.23 with a completion period of 24 months as additional works to the dualization of the East-West road of Section III Contract using direct procurement method but nothing was done before the present Administration took over.
Speaking further, he maintained that fund constraints and increase of the overhead costs has caused the slow pace of work. He therefore assured the Minister that the project will be completed within the stipulated time if the company is mobilized on time with the required capital.
The President-General of the Ogoni Youths Federation (OYF), Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana, appealed to the Minister to order the Contractors in charge of the project to speedily commence payment of compensation to affected families during the cause of expansion and dualization of the East-West road for peace to reign.