By Suoyo Ekubo
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commenced the inspection of on-going and completed projects in Abia State, as part of its resolve to focus on regional and sustainable projects in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during an inspection of the 9-kilometre Obehie/Oke-Ikpe Road in Ukwa West Local Government Area in Abia State, the NDDC Executive Director Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, said the Commission was making efforts to complete all its projects across the Niger Delta region.
Ogunmola, who inspected the road in the company of other NDDC Directors, said several communities in the area would benefit from the project, which links Abia and Akwa Ibom States.
He stated: “We are here to assess the work done so far and to ensure its speedy completion because of the impact the road will have on the people of Niger Delta.
“This road has brought light and life back to these communities, as socio-economic activities have been restored, even as the contractor is still putting finishing touches in some sections.”
Ogunmola commended the youths of Ukwa West for being very peaceful and providing the enabling environment for the contractor to perform to the best of his ability, thereby delivering on quality.
In his remarks, the Director, NDDC Abia State office, Mr. Goddy Nosiri, observed that the road had been in deplorable condition for many years, leading to loss of several man-hours, with the resultant negative effects on the socio-economic activities of the area.
He said further: “The roads provide some safe and preferable shortcuts for our brothers and sisters in Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states to Rivers and Bayelsa states.”
Nosiri said that the road was already having a major impact on the lives of the people, especially with the Street Lights on the road.
The Chief Executive of the company handling the project, Dr. Matt Offeh, said that the road was very important for the people of Abia, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
He remarked: “The NDDC has done so much for the people of the region but the projects are underreported by the media. There is no state in the region without at least 500 – 1,000 projects executed by NDDC. I commend the Executive Director of Projects for coming to inspect this project and I encourage routine inspection to ensure quality job delivery in record time.”
The NDDC Executive Director also inspected the dilapidated section of the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway at Obehie and promised that the Commission would liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works to intervene urgently to ensure that the road was at least motorable.
Similarly, Ogunmola inspected the132KVA Line 2/30 Power Transmission Substation in Ukwa West LGA, which had been lying fallow for many years. He said that efforts would be made to revitalise the project, stating: “There is need to revisit this project having seen the potential socio-economic benefits it will bring to the people of Abia State and its environs, we will engage our stakeholders to bring this project back to life.”
He noted that the project, which was at 50 per cent completion level before the contractor stopped work and the installed equipment were vandalized, was expected to power Ukwa West, Ukwa East and Ugwunagbo local government areas of Abia State.