GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has expressed confidence that when completed, the Ughelli/Asaba road will boost socio-economic activities in the state.
Speaking on Tuesday after inspecting the level of work done on Section C of the road, Governor Okowa observed that the road will encourage more traders to channel their imports through the Warri ports to Onitsha market.
“We had to terminate the initial contract because the contractor was not doing well and we re-awarded it to CCECC just a few months ago and you can see the extent of work done so far in just a short while.
He said, “I am impressed that they have done a lot of work in spite of the lockdown, and also the fact that we have been in the rainy season, a considerable amount of work has been done and they have assured us that the road will achieve the milestone.
“It will shorten the driving time from Warri, Ughelli to Asaba and it connects one end of the state to the other and very importantly because of the Onitsha market and the Warri Port.
“We believe that by the time this is completed, many of the importers will also prefer to bring their goods through the Warri Port rather than going through the Lagos Port.”
He also clarified why road projects are still getting deserved attentions from the contractors despite the harsh economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We do know that we have financial challenges all over the world and Nigeria and Delta are no exceptions, but we have been speaking to our contractors to continue to stay on site.
“What we do now is to pay gradually because, we have a well worked-out programme, and in all fairness to the contractors, they are cooperating with us.
“We don’t want them to leave the site because it will cause workers to lose jobs.
“Due to the fact that the contractors have had a good relationship with us in the past, they have always cooperated with us and as at today, all our contractors are on site and we are working out ways to support ourselves and find possible ways to raise funds to remobilise them to ensure they continue to stay on site.
“It’s not been easy but we can’t just afford to abandon the projects that we have; it is all part of planning and I believe that our planning is going on well,” he said.
Governor Okowa and his team also inspected DBS and Isho roads, Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area, where he expressed satisfaction with the level of job done.
He was conducted round the projects by the Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Fred Edafioghor.