• Blank NEWS Online (Nigeria) –By Boniface Nzesi OSSAI & Franscisca EGARA-OKORO:

In its avowed commitment to put smiles on the faces of the people of the Mandate Areas, the Management Team of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), yesterday, embarked on inspection of ongoing projects in Isoko and Ndokwa Nations, respectively.

Led by the Managing Director/ CEO, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, the Team visited the Uzere/Asaba-ase/Obare Rd, Uzere Modern Market Lock up Stores/Park and Ofagbe-Ibrede Rd.

At the Uzere/Asaba-ase/Obare Rd, the Managing Director and his team were highly elated at the speed and pace of job so far done on the project.

According to him, “We are here to access the level of work that has been done on the road. So far, the contractor has done very well, given the limited time space. At a point, we were actually afraid if the road can be ready and put to use. But by what we are seeing today, the contractor has done a very good job and it is quite solid.”
He said he was particularly happy for the road, because it is the only access to Asaba-ase, in Ndokwa East LGA and Obare in Patani LGA, respectively.

In his words, “This road is a Federal road which has been abandoned and we have to come to their rescue because it is in our mandate area. Although, the construction is quite expensive, we cannot abandon our people like that, which is why we are doing the road as a form of palliative for the people known majorly for producing agricultural products.”

Speaking with DESOPADEC News, the Executive Director, Project (EDP), Hon Daniel Mayuku said the conception of the 5 km road project was borne out of the fact that there has been recurring flooding problem on the road over the years, noting that DESOPADEC being an interventionist agency decided to come to the rescue, in order to stop the suffering of the people, by creating two massive culverts, to enable the water to flow, since Uzere and its environs were known for flooding every year.

Asked if the massiveness of the road project would not affect other projects of the Commission, the EDP said, “The project is massive alright but it will not affect other projects, because we planned for it and it is within our power.”

On his part, the Executive Director, Social Services (EDSS), Barr Leonard Anoka expressed happiness as he said that this project would bring about so many socio-economic activities as it was a major road to access and connect the three ethnic nationalities of Isoko, Ijaw and Ndokwa. “If you take Asaba-ase for instance, this is the only road they have because they are surrounded by rivers and they are the biggest in fish farming activities,” he concluded.

Contributing also, the Member representing Ijaw Nation on the Board of DESOPADEC, Dr. Paul Bebenimibo who oversees Obare Community, under his constituency, said that the road was fundamental for the people’s transportation of their goods, as they were basically farmers and fishermen, adding that it was a good palliative that DESOPADEC has decided to give to the people as an interventionist agency.
He promised to sensitize the people to cooperate with the government and DESOPADEC in maintaining the road, rather than causing any damage to the construction and will encourage them to keep watch over it, so that no damage would be done to it.

At the Uzere Modern Market, under construction, the Executive Director, Project (EDP), Hon Daniel Mayuku was full of praise for the Contractor, for doing a wonderful job, noting that he was the kind of contractor that would be required, as they to take their time to do their jobs.

According to him, “Uzere is a big town and the value of the Market and Park cannot be over-emphasized. The Market has 102 Lock-up stores, and when the market is in operation, a park will be needed because people who come with their goods and cars would need a place to park. Although, it is an old market, we have decided to upgrade it so that the people of the area would know that the oil they are producing is coming back to them in terms of development.”

During the Team’s inspection visit to Ofagbe-Ibrede Rd, the Managing Director/CEO, Bashorun Askia Ogieh was highly elated and effusive in praising the contractor, for a job well done.

“I am highly impressed by the level of job done on the road, having been present from the very beginning. The contractor has done very well and it is within the time frame,” he commended.

He particularly noted that upon completion, the road would link the Isoko people of North and South to Ibrede and the other communities here in Ndokwa East.”

According to him, “It is a major link road that will shorten the journey of our Isoko people instead of going round the journey of Ashaka and Kwale and all of that, they just link up in Ibrede this way. The whole of Ibrede down are the Isoko speaking areas of Ndokwa East and they have been clamoring for a road to link them with their brothers and sisters of Isoko North and South LGAs. It is a very good road and would help to transport agric products closer to this side. It is a major demand of the Isoko ethnic nationality and a very major demand of the people of the Ndokwa nation. I am therefore, very happy seeing it as it is now and at completion, the administration of His Excellency, Senator Dr, Ifeanyi Okowa would have done so well.”

Reacting, the representative of the contracting company, GMG Global Construction, Mr. Fadi Mahfouz expressed appreciation to DESOPADEC Management for giving him and his company the opportunity to execute the project, adding that they would complete it in good time for the benefit of the people.

The Executive Director, Project, Hon Daniel Mayuku, while reacting to a question by DESOPADEC News, said that he was happy to see the reality of the completion of the road which was estimated to be about 4km
“First and foremost, this road is a virgin forest. The first time we came here, it was all forest but today you can see the miracle money and signs the whole place is opened up. The good thing about the ground, is the pure sharp sand, so it is going to be a road that would last for a very long time. We also make sure that we have six culverts to enable free water flow, so that it would not disrupt the road due to the fact that the road is being constructed in water log area.”

On his part, the Executive Director, Social Services (EDSS), Barr, Leonard Anoka said, finally, “Ibrede Community is the only community close to Aboh, which is the Headquarters of Ndokwa East LGA. Before now, to access the other side of the road if you are going to Oleh or Ozoro, you have to pass through Ashaka, Ushie and Kwale, which is a very long distance. But with this new road, you can access the community at a short distance and the stress of going round is cut off. The people will also be happy because as you can see, the contractor is doing a perfect job.”

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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