Member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Dr Sokonte Davies, has disclosed that funds appropriated in this year’s budget for the dualisation of the East-West Road which runs across the Niger Delta States are inadequate, as the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs has intervened in discharge of its oversight functions.
Davies, who made the disclosure in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, said the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had taken over the road project, stressing that since funds budgeted for the road project were inadequate, the House Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, in conjunction with the leadership of the National Assembly, had put on hold almost all the capital projects earmarked for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and channelled their funds to the road project.
According to him, the National Assembly takes the construction of the East-West Road seriously as it would not relent until the road project is completed.
‘The National Assembly is taking a holistic approach to solving the issue concerning every sector of the East-West Road,” the lawmaker assured, noting that a lot of work was being done behind the scene to ensure that the construction of the East-West Road was actualised.
He, however, stressed that unless the people see that contractors were mobilised to site, they would not be convinced that anything meaningful was being done, saying that as a major entry and exit points to the national economy, if nothing was done to complete the road project, “ I think that we are going to have a lot of economic challenges in the country as a whole”
The lawmaker also expressed dismay over the $620,000 bribe scandal rocking the House of Representatives sub-committee on subsidy management and noted, however, that it was not an indication that members of the House were corrupt.
He said the current bribe scandal alongside the one that recently rocked the House Committee on Capital Market were isolated cases, which were not enough for Nigerians to conclude that the House was corrupt, pointing out that there were still credible members who live up to the tag of ‘honourable’ in the House, whom he said were proving their credibility through their actions and conduct.
“ People outside the House know them to be credible”, he noted.
‘The House can’t be corrupt. Like they say, in every 12 , there is a Judas. I will not really categorise the House as corrupt. It does not mean everybody is Judas”, Davies declared.
According to him, “ I believe that we will always make mistakes but I am not sure we can make the same mistakes every time”.