By Oru Leonard, Abuja
Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi has said the government is giving accelerated attention to the East-West road to ensure that it is completed.
The statement was made during the Federal Government inter-ministerial committee meeting between the Ministries of Niger Delta Affairs, Transportation, Power, Works and Housing and Information and Culture.
In an interview with journalist who joined the inspection team, the Honuorable Minister forTransportation, Amaechi noted that the tour had changed his perception on the Project that government was doing nothing on it.
He said, “it is important that we the South-South people appreciate the contribution of the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to the development of the Niger Delta region.
“If I did not come on this inspection myself, I would have been among those who are saying that nothing was being done, but we drove all the way from Benin, through the East-West road from Warri to Porth Harcourt, there was no potholes” he observed.
Amaechi disclosed, that the sum of N100 billion is needed by the contractors to actualize the dualization projects and ave the breakdown as follows N57 Billion and N47 Billion in different sectors of the road.
He further noted that, from Warri to Patani has a lane left to be completed, adding also, that the second lane, from Patani to Ahoada and from Ahoada to Eleme is being completed all the way to Port Harcourt.
He expressed dismay on the continued militancy goin on and appealed to the youths in the Niger Delta region to desist from vices that can impede the development of the oil-rich region and take it illion naira backward among other regions
While speaking at the end of the Thursday’s tour, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, “The hope of the people of the Niger Delta region has finally been rekindled by the Federal Government Inter-Ministerial Committee which was on assessment tour of the East-West road project on Thursday, saying the Federal Government was prioritising its early completion.
On his part,t Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani disclosed: “The Federal Executive Council has give priority to the East-West road project. This led to the setting up of this Inter-Ministerial Committee to come and do its assessment, for government to source for funds for timely completion of the project.”
Usani expressed satisfaction on the progress of work, saying it has been more progressive than previous years. He added that contractors only needed more funds to execute the job.
Corroborating the statement of his colleague in Niger Delta Affairs’ Ministry, the Minister of Transportation,
It would be recalled that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs inherited the East-West road from the then Federal Ministry works on its establishment in 2008 and had been battling with its completion over the years.
To put to rest this lingering challenge, however, the Federal Executive Council set up a four-man committee comprising the Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to carry out an assessment of the East-West road and come up with suggestions for the early completion of the project.