By Tom Amakri Port Harcourt
Executive Director, Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Samuel Adjogbe has assured that the 23.5-kilometre Otuasega-Obedum-Emelego Road and bridges linking Bayelsa and Rivers States will be completed this year.
Adjogbe gave the assurance when he led a team of directors and engineers of the commission to inspect the regional road, spanning nine agricultural-rich communities, as part of NDDC’s drive to complete all ongoing projects in the Niger Delta.
The strategic road runs between Otuasega in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, through Obedum and Emelego in Abua-Odual LGA of Rivers state.
The boss of NDDC, which has as Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, underlined the economic benefits of the road to the region and reaffirmed the commitment of the management of the Federal Government’s interventionist agency to complete all on-going projects in the Niger Delta in the shortest possible time.
Adjogbe noted that inadequate funding was a major challenge slowing down work on the road.
He said: “Funding has been a drawback, but we are determined to find ways of addressing the challenge. We will find funds to complete the road, so that we can get the full value of the regional project.
“I am not happy that the road is taking longer than anticipated to complete. I cannot say that I am satisfied with the status of the road at this point. I will be satisfied only when the project is completed and handed over to the benefitting communities.”
NDDC’s executive director, projects, also admonished the leaders of the benefiting communities to support and cooperate with the contractor to ensure that there was no hindrance to meeting the commission’s target to complete the project before the end of the year.
He said: “The contractor will be appropriately funded, to ensure that the target of delivering the project this year, is realised.”
The NDDC boss also stated that the regional road was very important, because it would help the people of the area to evacuate their agricultural produce to the cities for sale.
Adjogbe noted that residents of the nine communities that would benefit from the road were predominantly farmers, who were daily confronted with the challenge of conveying their farm produce like plantains, bananas and cassava, to urban areas.
The Communities’ Liaison Officer (CLO) for the project, Mr. Sotonye Ezekiel, in his remarks, lauded NDDC for making it possible for the people in many communities in Rivers and Bayelsa states to drive to their villages.