Uyo - The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, said N141
billion would be required to complete the East-West Road project in
Orubebe disclosed this while speaking with newsmen on Friday in Uyo
after the Joint National Assembly Committees on Niger Delta Affairs paid
oversight visit to the project sites.
"What is required to complete the road is N141 billion; that is what
is expected for us to inject in the project to complete the East-West
"This is a road of over N339 billion and we are looking for N141
billion; once we have that one, we will be able to complete the road
Orubebe recalled that the contract was awarded in 2006 and would have been completed in 2010.
"Nothing reasonable was done till we took over in 2009 when we had to complete the designs and the drawings,'' he said.
According to him, the ministry has been working round the clock to see that the project is completed.
He said that due to the funding constraint within the government, the
ministry had to request for a loan of N50 billion from the African
Development Bank (AfDB).
He said the loan would be ready "anytime from now’’.
"When we inject that one into the financial plan, I think that we will be working toward delivering that road,'' he said.
Orubebe, who said nobody had control over natural disasters, pointed
out that project suffered a setback as all the project areas were
He stressed the ministry’s desire to complete and deliver the road to the people of Niger Delta in December 2014.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. James
Manager, who led the delegation to the project sites, said however that
delivering the road in 2014 would be unrealistic.
According to him, water has taken over major parts of the road,
particularly the section from Delta to the beginning of Rivers which is
almost inside water.
"Construction cannot take place right now from what we have seen;
delivering that road in December 2014 will not be possible; I want to
feel that it is not realistic with what is on ground.
"Everybody saw it, we were all on the trip; with what is on ground, for
them to do effective job that is good enough for the people of Niger
Delta, I think we will be talking about 2015 or the end of 2015.
"That is my feeling; I am not a civil engineer anyway, but from what
I saw on ground, December 2015 will be far more realistic than December
Funding problem is also there because you don't expect a
contractor, who having worked and generated certificates and
certificates and has yet to be paid, to continue to work.
"That is why the funding challenge has been there since the award of contract for the job.’’
He said he did not want the contractor to do a shoddy job,
stressing: "I am for quality jobs, what is important is to do quality
job for the people of Niger Delta.
"This is the road that crosses all the major oil producing states of this great country; the people deserve the very best.''
Rep. Warman Ogoriba, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee
on Niger Delta Affairs, appealed to the Federal Government to look for
alternative source of funding the road project.
"After our inspection visit to the project sites, we have come to
the conclusion that the budgetary allocation is not enough if we must
complete that road.
"This road is important to people of Niger Delta and, indeed, all Nigerians ply that road,'' Ogoriba said.
The project engineer, handling bridges constructed by Setraco
Company, Mr Raed Saliba, said the Patani Bridge in Bayelsa would be
completed in December 2014.
Saliba said the contractors had no problem with any community as the people had been cooperating with them.
He said that the new Okoso Bridge would be completed "in the next few months’’.