Delta State Government on Wednesday restated its determination to complete ongoing construction of Trans-Warri road and bridges in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.
State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, made the pledge while briefing newsmen shortly after inspecting the project.
He said that the inspection was to ensure that all contractors handling projects for government were on site in line with the state government’s directive to them to return to site following to substantial relaxation of the lockdown occasion by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Augoye stated that the multi-billion naira road projects, which comprise 25.8 kilometres and 19 bridges linking Ubeji, Ifie, Ijala, Ogbodede, Inorin, Ajigba, Orugbo, Usele and Ode-Itsekiri were awarded in 2006, but the contractor moved to site in November, 2007.
He said, “Although the project has several spurs to other communities, this administration decided that the contractor should concentrate on the main alignment.
“The contractors are presently trying to complete the remaining 5 bridges and once they are done with that they will continue on the road work.
“The quality of work is very high and I must commend the contractors for doing a good job. However, let me urge them to increase the pace of work to ensure that this project is completed by the end of next year.
“Of course, I also know that they have challenges in terms of financing of the project but we are all aware of the state of the country’s finances and Delta State is also affected. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is doing everything possible to ensure prompt completion of this project.”
Augoye disclosed that the project had opened up the Ubeji to Ifie side of the Warri River and had attracted six tank farms and other multi-billion naira investments, urging the contractors to speed up the pace of work in order to meet the December 2021 completion timeline.
“As you can see the road has not been completed but it has opened up the other side of the river to much economic activities and if this other side of the river is completed, it means that it will create more economic activities for the people around this area,” he stated.
Special Director for the project, Chief Otimeyin Adam, commended the governor for “his avowed commitment to complete the project.”
He said that the Okowa administration had reduced the state government’s indebtedness to the contractor from N9billion to N3billion and expressed optimism that the project would be completed according to agreement.
Earlier, Area Manager of Setraco, Delta Region, Mr. Joseph Helby, said that the company was determined to complete the project by the end of 2021.
“We have completed 14 of the bridges while work is ongoing on the remaining five bridges; we have also completed 95 per cent of the internal roads in Ode-Itsekiri and we look forward to completion of the entire project at the end of 2021,” Helby said.