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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

RIVERS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL APPROVES N80.8BN FOR ELELE-OMOKU ROAD PROJECT

The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the sum of N80,886,404,836.45kobo for the construction of the 33.5km long Elele-Omoku Road project that will traverse three local government areas of the State.

The local government areas include Ikwerre, Emohua and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni.

At its meeting on Tuesday, presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, with his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu in attendance, the Council approved a 24-month completion period for the project.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works, Engr. Atemea Briggs, said the project will be funded from the savings made from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State Government.

Explaining the specifications of the project, Engr Briggs said: “The project starts from Elele to Umudioga, Egbeda and Ubumini to Omoku. The total length of the project is 33.5 kilometers. There is an existing road there which is just 7.3 meters width, but the Government wants to dualise this road.

“The proposed road width now is 7.8 meters to be asphalted fully with a road shoulder of 2.5 meters width. I will like to mention that along this road, we have several kilometers of low land, wherein to build a road shall require replacement, filling of the ground by more than 3 meters high.”

Engr. Briggs further said: “This, the contractor can only achieve through hydraulic sandfilling and using laterite. And you know how costly these are.

“The road is also having a bridge of 99 meters long to be built side-by-side the existing one between Egbeda and Omoku. The cost of the project is N80,886,404,836.45k only. It is awarded to Craneburg Construction Company. The delivery period is 24 months.”

Also addressing newsmen, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Adaeze Oreh, said Council was briefed on the success of the accreditation exercise conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NWCN) at the State College of Nursing Sciences.

She explained that the State School of Nursing was recently upgraded to College of Nursing Sciences with an admission capacity now increased by 142 per cent, and 400-capacity classroom block being constructed for both midwifery and nursing students.

Dr Oreh further explained that with a robust primary healthcare system because existing facilities in the State are upgraded, and their functionalities enhanced, gaps are being addressed in access to requisite services.

She noted that Rivers State also emerged as South-South zonal winner of the Primary Healthcare Leadership Challenge convened by UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

Dr Oreh said there is also a new partnership commenced between the State Government and UNICEF that is donating an oxygen manufacturing plant and equipment for the new born neonatal unit at the Eleme General Hospital, which will be handed over soon.

According to her: “Another update to note is His Excellency’s approval of the implementation of Rivers State Contributory Health Protection Programme, which is the State Health Insurance Scheme.

“The Federal Government has been notified, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and the Office of the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare have all been notified, so that all processes needed for the enrolment of the citizens and residents of Rivers State in the health insurance, scheme, especially our vulnerable population can immediately commence.”

Also addressing newsmen, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Warisenibo Joseph Johnson, reiterated that the 33.5km Elele-Omoku Road project will be funded with savings from the Internally Generated Revenue, a payment method that will also be adopted for the phase two of the Trans-Kalabari Road project.

Furthermore, he stated: “Council also will be setting up a five-man committee made up of commissioners of Agriculture, Urban Development, Permanent Secretary of Lands and Surveyor-General of the State to deal with the issues of land grabbing.

“All that will be put together within the week, and Council will also provide all the necessary requirements for that committee to conclude its job within record time.

“It is important that I mention that the money for the construction of the 33.5km Road is from our savings. This is important because most people will be asking what we are doing with our IGR.

“These are money we will use, accrued from our savings. This approach is what this Government will be adopting to fund the phase two of Trans-Kalabari Road project, which will soon commence.”

In her clarification, Acting Director-General of the State Bureau of Public Procurement, Engr Ine Briggs, said that all the road projects being undertaken by the Government scaled through due diligence and quality assurance and had been certified for delivery to Rivers people.

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