The Delta State Government has embarked on the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of 193 road projects since May 2015 to date, even as it has also intervened in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Federal roads.
The State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, made this known in Asaba while addressing journalists at the ongoing ministerial press briefing on the activities and achievements of his ministry at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Information.
Augoye stated that the 193 projects covered a stretch of 732 kilometres of road and 229 kilometres of concrete-lined drains at a total cost of N12 billion.
He also disclosed that the value of projects currently being handled by his Ministry including those inherited from the previous administration was put at over N215 billion covering 208 roads with a total stretch of 866 kilometres.
According to the Commissioner, a total of 92 roads covering over 350 kilometres had been completed while 116 roads were at different stages of completion.
He listed some of the highway projects across the state that have been completed to include construction of the 5.8 kilometres Middle Section of Alisimie/Oza-Ngogo road in Ika South costing N1.07 billion, construction of the 8.6 kilometres Ughelli-Afiesere-Uuoma road in Ughelli North LGA at the cost N1.7 billion and the 4.85 kilometres construction of Udophori/Toru-Angiama/Toru Apelebiri/Patani raod, Phase 2 in Patani LGA at a total cost of N1.1 billion.
Other completed road projects, according to the Commission included the 4.8 kilometres Joseph Ebolo and Madona School road at a cost of N1.009 billion, construction of 1.8 kilometres access road to Awaritse Industrial Park pahse 1 and 2 in Warri North LGA at a sum of N449 million and the construction of 2.6 kilometres Ugbomro raod between DSC Expressway and Federal University of Petroluem Resources Junction in Uvwie LGA at N994.4 million contract sum
He also mentioned as completed the 10.8 kilometres rehabilitation/resealing of Okpare-Umolo-Ovwodokpokpor-Kiagbodo raod in Ugheli South LGA and the contruction/rehabilitation of 3.2 kilometres Kwale Township road at a contract sum of N468.6 million.
On the ongoing road being constructed and at various stages of completion, the Commissioner listed the 24 kilometres link road between Ughelli/Asaba Highway and Uromi/Agbor//Eku/Amukpe roads involving the rehabilitation/asphalting overlay of Nsukwa-Ejeme Aniogor-Agbor Alidinma-Owa Alidinma road, spanning four local government areas of Aniocha South, Ndokwa West, Ika South and North East.
The commissioner also mentioned as ongoing the construction of the 7.4 kilometres Okurekpo/Okunah-Okpara/Okoruah/Onumane/Samagidi road at a contract sum of N1.1 billion.
In answer to a reporter’s question Augoye hinted that Delta state Government has over time intervened in the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of Federal Roads in the State.
He who clarified that Delta State Government had no strained relationship with, particularly on the Illah Road, disclosed that the State government had intervened in the reconstruction of Asaba/Ughelli road dualization, adding that the Section D had been fully completed while work had resumed in the Section A.
He revealed that over N200 million was spent in 2016 on the Sapele Warri Road, saying the State Government was also involved in the maintenance of Agbor/Eku Road.
According to the Commissioner, the interventions were done through the Federal Ministry of Works and that the State Government had written its claim to the Federal Government but noted that no refund had been made till date.
He disclosed that the State Government was collaborating with Niger Delta Development Commission to construct a flyover across the Asaba Benin Express Road, noting that as soon as arrangements were tidied up the construction would be on stream.
The works Commissioner however, clarified that the two pedestrian flyovers to be constructed by the State Government would be having roofs over them and would be located at the Summit and Abraka market ends of the Asaba Benin road.
He stated that the design had been completed and awaiting actual award, expressing the belief that when completed, the projects would curb accidents and reduce the risks of pedestrians.
In the area of Material Testing Factory at Ughelli, the Works Commissioner said that his Ministry attempted to renovate it but discovered that cost was enormous, saying as an alternative, they were currently collaborating with the University of Benin and that the Ministry would commenced its own material testing as soon as the news location at its headquarters was made ready.
On youth disturbance at project sites, the Commissioner expressed shock that the ugly trend had started in Delta North but gave an assurance that his Ministry was addressing it through community leaders and unions.
On youth engagement by contractors in the face of teeming youth unemployment, Chief Augoye stressed that there was a standing order to all contractors to prioritize the utilization of youths in communities where they operate.
The Commissioner debunked insinuation that he collected kick backs from contractors, saying, “No contractor can stand to say I collected money from him. I have instructions on job supervision and I approve certificates as soon as works are done according to specifications. It is not true and can never be true.”