Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said that the poor state of the East-West Road linking Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Warri was a major source of worry for the people and governments of the South-South States.
Speaking while receiving the Chairman and members of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House Annex in Warri, the Governor lamented that although the contract for the construction of the strategic road was awarded many years ago, work on it has not progressed satisfactorily.
In his words, “The East-West Road has become a source of worry and if it is not completed by 2015, it will be a big problem. It is the aspiration and desire of the people of the South South to get the road completed.”
Uduaghan said Governors of the Niger Delta region were prepared to laise with the Presidency to facilitate the speedy release of funds for the completion of the East West road.
Besides, he disclosed that the Governors of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) States resolved that NDDC should henceforth focus on regional infrastructures that cut across the states.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator James Manager, said the committee has invited the Minister of Works to explain circumstances delaying the completion of the road.
He noted that although the East West Road is critical to the Niger Delta region, “It is obvious that looking at the way things are going, the road will not be completed in the next 5 years.”
“That is why we have invited the Minister of Works to explain to us, because from the way things are going, it is not possible to deliver that project in the next three years.”
He explained that the members of the Senate Committee were on a “parliamentary inspection” as it was charged with over-sighting the NDDC, the Ministry of Niger Delta and the Amnesty programme.
Manager said, “When you budget, you want to know how the fund is appropriated. The Senate is conscious of its responsibility.”
Continuing, he held that the Senate as the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly has a duty of ensuring that things were done the right way.
The Senate Committee was accompanied on the visit by top officials of the NDDC, including the Commissioner representing Delta State, Chief Solomon Ogba.