The Federal Government
has directed a team of experts to conduct a critical analysis of the design of Section V of the East-West Road project before commencing work on it.
The Minister for the Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, disclosed this The Tide source in Abuja, recently.
He explained that the Section V of the project “is from Oron to Calabar’’.
Usani said that the team, comprising experts in the ministry, the project consultants, representatives of Akwa Ibom and Cross River State governments, was expected to conclude the analysis within three weeks.
He said that the team was expected to analyse existing design of the 23km Section V portion of the road and to consider alternative designs for alignment for cost efficiency.
According to him, the 23 km is added to the 338km East-West dual-carriage way road, which is originally billed to terminate in Oron, Akwa Ibom, will now extend to Calabar.
Usani said that the Federal Government had, therefore, ordered the experts to ensure completion of the analysis before the commencement of work on the road.
He noted that there should be a re-design of the road project to minimise destruction of the cultural heritage of the people.
“There was divergence of opinion as regards the present road design of Section V of the East West Road, Oron to Calabar.
“The ministry could not afford any further delay in delivering the project to the end-users given its inherent benefits to the people.
“My interest is the success of this administration in projects delivery,” he said.
According to Usani, the Federal Government is committed to carrying them along in project execution in the Niger Delta region.
“Let me reassure you that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will ensure that host communities and end-users were carried along in projects execution for the maximum benefits of all,” he said.
The minister said that the ministry would try hard to look at all possible options and choose the cost effective ones in executing the project to a logical conclusion within the current constraints of cash flow.
Our correspondent recalls that in addition to budgetary provisions and funds from African Development Bank (AfDB) toward the completion of the road in 2014, the Federal Government facilitated an additional loan from the China Exim-Bank.
The Oron-Calabar road is the final section of the East-West road known as ‘Section V’.
The road was targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2015 with the construction in phases.
A part of the phase was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in 2013 at the total sum of N165 billion which included almost 26km of bridge and deck-on-piles.
Lagos Set To Tackle Transport Challenges
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) says efforts have been intensified to introduce quality bus corridor in the metropolis to further tackle transport challenges.
An Assistant Director of LAMATA, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi made the disclosure in an interview with The Tide source on Monday in Lagos.
According to him, the state government is aware of the need for improved transport service as a direct consequence of migration to the state.
“In Lagos State, we have the issue of bus routing. “When you look at the number of buses we have, you will discover that they are not enough to service the population,” he said.
The official said that the state had a population of more than 20 million people, adding that “The past government brought in about 880 buses in a bid to improve the transport system.
“These buses are currently being redeployed by an agency of government known as the Lagos Bus Services Ltd., who are also in-charge of asset management,” he said.
According to him, road development in the state is being taken gradually for effective management and spread.
Ojelabi said that the government was therefore, working on quality bus corridors which would spread to more parts of the metropolis.
According to him, this will take effect before the end of the year.
He noted that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services had not got to every part of the state; hence, the need for creation of the corridors.
Ojelabi said that where the BRT services were not available, the government would provide new medium-sized buses to service the transportation needs of the people.
According to him, these will come with bus terminuses and shelters to ensure easy access.
He also said that the government had intensified efforts to speed up implementation of its Blue Line rail project from Okokomaiko to Marina.
“Currently, there is a lot of work going on on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
“The whole essence is to fast-track the progress of work from the Lagos end here to at least Lagos State University, Ojo.
Ojelabi said that completion of the road and rail projects would discourage residents of the area from driving their cars to Lagos Island as they would prefer using train or BRT.
” Once this is done, it will also reduce cases of attacks by hoodlums on commuters who will now have the opportunity of riding in BRT or train. “It is a gradual process but we will surely achieve these.
“I can assure you that work has been intensified to realise this as the government is working to ensure the completion of the project and commencement of operations before the end of this administration,” he added.
Drivers Demand Trailer Park Along Eleme-Bori Road
Following the incessant road congestion experienced along Eleme-Bori road, commercial drivers have urged the Rivers State Government to build an alternative trailer park that would accommodate tankers and trucks that have been identified as major causes of the congestion on the road.
The Tide investigation revealed that due to lack of trailer park along the route, tankers and trailers resort to parking on both sides of the road, causing road congestion and traffic gridlock.
Apparently frustrated by this congestion, commercial drivers plying the route have appealed to the state government to provide an alternative trailer park that would accommodate trailers and tankers, and thus reduce the rate of road side parking by drivers.
Speaking to The Tide, a Bori bound commercial driver, Barile Deekor said the congestion was as a result of the indiscriminate parking on both sides of the road by tanker and truck drivers, in addition to numerous potholes along the road.
He said the gridlock at times caused delay for as much as two to three hours and in a way affected the daily financial turnover of the drivers.
Also speaking with our correspondent, Edet Udom, a commercial bus driver said “our vehicles keep breaking down, and it costs us some extra expenses to maintain the vehicles due to bad road, especially from Eleme junction to trailer park.
“People (drivers) are running one way and this has resulted to an accident that claimed one life recently. The Police and Federal Road Safety Corps are all there collecting toll from drivers, instead of clearing the road.
“Tanker and trailer drivers are the major players in this act as they occupy both sides of the road therefore, if government can provide an alternative park for them, the road will be decongested”.
In another development, a community leader in Eleme, Mr … Mene has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to employ the services of notable construction companies like Julius Berger and Reynoid Construction Company (RCC) for the proposed rehabilitation of Aleto bridge that is presently caving in.
Mene who gave the charge in a chat with newsmen warned that if the rehabilitation contract was awarded to individuals based on political patronage, the desired results may not be achieved.
He however, commended the NDDC for indicating interest to carry out repair work on the Aleto bridge that is about to collapse.
Motorists, Others Laud Wike On Road Rehabilitation
Residents of Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State have commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his promise to embark on rehabilitation work on key roads in the area before the end of the month.
The Tide reports that before the governor’s promise, the people of Rumuolumeni had made several calls on the state government to rehabilitate the roads which they said have crippled the economy of the place as well as hampered their efforts to fight insecurity in the area.
Speaking to The Tide, a resident in the area, Bekwele Worlu, told TheTide that the deplorable condition of many internal roads in Rumuolumeni had slowed down economic activities in the area.
According to him, most tenants have relocated while many shop owners were out of business due to the inaccessibility of roads in the area.
He posited that Rumuolumeni has always been an economically viable town that contributed immensely to the economy of the state, but wondered why such a community would be neglected in the area of road infrastructure.
He therefore, appealed to the state government to create an enabling environment for business to thrive in the area.
Similarly, motorists plying Ada-George/Ngbuoba NTA route have also commended the efforts of Governor Wike for embarking on remediation work on the road.
A motorist, Ebuka Nwangbo, told our correspondent that before remediation work commenced on the road, the level of flooding experienced at the location junction was alarming.
He however, expressed joy that the ongoing work on the road would assuage the feelings of road users in the area.
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