Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fury over East-West Road

8 February 2012

*Handover project to Ministry of Works – Edwin Clark
*Citizen threatens to sue construction firm
*FG not releasing funds as and when due to contractors; Work progressing at snail-pace
*2012 completion date threatened

EMBLEMATIZED in the road sign of Setraco Construction Company, one of the three road construction companies, handling the dualization of the 337-kilometre
East-West Road
, from Delta – Bayelsa – Rivers – Akwa Ibom – Cross River states, is a white bird, symbolizing the company’s rapidity in job performance.

However, converse to the understandable symbolism of the road sign and avowed undertaking of the firms – Setraco, Reynolds Construction Company and Gitto Construcauoli Generali, GCC, to “fast track” and “fly the project”, it is not likely that the road, with a completion target of 2012, will be completed in the next five years, given the current snail-pace of work.


But, the people are angry as construction works are not moving as envisaged. So infuriated was former Federal Minister of Information and South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark over the development that uncharacteristic of him, he requested the Federal Government at an interdenominational thanksgiving service/civic reception, organized by the Izon of Delta State in honour of former acting managing director of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Pastor Power Aginighan in Warri, recently, to return the East-West Road, presently being supervised by the Ministry of Niger-Delta to the Ministry of Works. (The project was handed over to the Ministry of Niger-Delta in April, 2009).

Anybody who knows the relationship between Chief Clark and the incumbent Minister of Niger-Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe can visualize the burden in Clark’s heart when he made this call. He, in fact, installed Orubebe as minister in the first instance and would not want to do anything that will undermine his office, but on the question of East-West road, the outspoken leader was not prepared to paper issues.

He declared that the return was apposite, as the Ministry of Niger Delta was like a toothless bulldog that could only bark, but not bite, as far as the
East-West Road
was concerned. His words: “The ministry is faced with a lot of internal problems, so if allowed to carry on with the project, even for 10 years, it cannot be completed.

Infrastructural development

“The Niger-Delta has not seen any change in President Jonathan’s administration in terms of massive infrastructural development”.

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