The federal government is set to commence work on the N33 billion construction project on the Eleme-Onne section of the East-West road in Rivers State.
The Minister of Works, David Umahi revealed this information recently during his inspection of the project and various other federal government initiatives within the state.
Umahi, speaking from the Eleme-Onne road construction site, conveyed that President Bola Tinubu had tasked him with a working visit to evaluate the ongoing work. He pointed out that this project gained significance after the president’s discussions with Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and the Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike.
“This road from Eleme to Onne port, the Rivers State people led by Governor Siminalayi Fubara and former governor Nyesom Wike-led delegation to come and see the president.
The president directed that I should immediately come here and ensure that work has started. President has released N33billion in this project to RCC for them to start” he said.
While inspecting the Port Harcourt-Aba section of the Port Harcourt-Enugu road project, the minister expressed appreciation for the work done by the contractor, CCECC.
The minister also acknowledged the government’s outstanding debt of about N5 million to the construction firm but guaranteed that the payment would be settled before the project’s completion.
“Thank you CCECC, beautiful work you have done. Excellent, beautiful bridges they have done. I gave them a vote of confidence and I approve the work,” he said.
Umahi, who expressed disappointment that the project wasn’t included in the 2023 budget, pledged to engage with the President to secure funding for its completion.
“Now you have paid N18billion. I direct you to return to the site immediately. You are supposed to have done a total of 12 kilometres.
You said we even owe you another N5 million, so I direct you to return to the site and what you are to do on both lanes down to Ala-Ojii in Aba is to remove all the silts in all the ditches, fill it with sharp sand, less 30-45cm, fill the 45 with stone base in both lanes and allow vehicles to play on both lanes.
“And on this project, unfortunately, we only have N11 billion in 2023 Appropriation.
I am going to see how they get this, but I am going to report to Mr President to see if we can seek special funding for the Port Harcourt-Aba road project. But I assure the contractor that funding will not be a problem. I want you to rule out your engineers, your machines, I will be coming to inspect the two lanes.” he said.