About N60 billion has
been spent under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for construction of East-West Road since 2012.
The convener, SURE-P Sub-Committee on Niger Delta (East-West Road Project,), Mr. Mazi Sam – Ohuabunwa disclosed this in an interview with journalists yesterday at the SURE-P Road Show, in Rivers State.
According to him, about N21 billion was appropriated for the East-West road in 2012, while about N42 billion was appropriated this year, noting that only about N60 billion was utilised for the projects within the two years.
“To clear the figures last year budget for the road was N21 billion, though it was not fully utilized, while for this year, N42 billion was appropriated, so if you look at the budget appropriation, plus and minus, we have utilised about N60 billion for the East-West Road project alone”, explained.
He explained that, “there are four ongoing road projects and five bridges under the SURE_P East-West Road Programme with a total distance of 338Km been implemented under the Ministry of Niger delta Affairs.
The projects, which directed into four sections is expected to be completed by December 2014.
According to him, section one is 87Km from Warrri to Kaiama, section two (a) 54Km from Kaiama to Ahoada, section two (b) 47Km from Ahoada to Port Harcourt, section three is 99Km from Port Harcourt to Eket and section four is 51 Km from Eket to Oron.
Speaking, representative of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, and Director of Infrastructure Developmental, Engr. Owi Otete commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for midwifing the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme in January 2012.
He thanked the communities, particularly the Ogoni communities for their understanding with R.C.C. company, the contractor handling the Port Harcourt to Eket section of the road project.
The Chairman of SURE-P, Dr. Christopher Kolade represented by Professor Tunde Wahal said, the SURE-P would be a total failure, if Nigerians refused to show evidence that people massively benefited from the programme.
According to him, N15 billion is being released monthly, and so far N180 billion from late part of last year 2012 and this year from SURE-P Funds is utilised by the SURE-P for projects across the country adding that the N180 billion is coming from the 41% share of the Federal Government alone.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM, King Godwin Giniwa appealed to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to consider the deplorable condition of Oil Mill and Eleme road, saying that the road is gradually cutting off the people of Ogoni and inter-states commuters from other part of the country.