Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State said the storm drainage projects embarked by his administration are designed to stand the test of time and ensure Asaba is free of flood.
Speaking after inspecting construction works at the ultra-modern multi-billion-naira Secretariat and storm drainage projects in Asaba, the Governor expressed satisfaction with the pace of work done on the projects.
According to him, “Though the contractor has 18 months to deliver on the project, (drainage) from what we can see with the level of work done so far, the project will be delivered in 12 months, so, the people will only suffer the effects of flood only in this rainy season.”
Fielding questions from journalists after inspecting the level of work done at the project sites, the Governor disclosed, “These projects were designed to stand the test of time, the storm drainage project will empty flood water from Mariam Babangida, WAEC and DBS Roads to the Anwai River.”
On the issue of people dropping their household wastes into the drainages which could lead to blockage if not cleared, Governor Okowa stated, “The Ministry of Environment has already mapped out holistic solutions to the discharge of wastes in Asaba, there will be revenue courts to try those who will dump their refuse indiscriminately and we are confident that once that is in place, people will restrain from engaging in illegal disposal of wastes.”
“The drainages are also being constructed with means of controlling wastes that will empty into the underground sewage, we don’t want to experience flood in Asaba again after this period,” the Governor said.
Project Manager of Setraco Nigeria Limited, Mr Jihad Yaghi, who expressed joy that Governor Okowa was encouraging them to speedily execute their job, disclosed that to enable them work during the rainy season, they would use precast drains to ensure that their activities do not affect other residence of the town.
“The precast will be used during the rain, we will excavate step by step, you excavate like 20 metres and fix the precast, with such, you control the effect of the rain,” he said.
At the new secretarial project site, Governor Okowa expressed satisfaction with the pace of work, stating, “I visit the site regularly and that shows the level of importance the project is to us, we are committed to executing the project as we believe it will solve a lot of housing needs of our Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).”
Meanwhile, the Governor has said that private houses built within the perimeter of the Asaba International Airport will be demolished.
He dropped the hint Tuesday(24/04/18) during an unscheduled inspection visit to ascertain the level of construction going on at the airport.
“We need to determine the perimeter of the airport to know where our land ends, we need to look at the buildings close to the airport if they have relevant approvals and if they have no relevant approvals, the buildings will go down.
“I have asked the Commissioner for Lands and Survey to take inventories for us to take necessary actions,” the Governor said, adding, “if the owners of the buildings have relevant documents, they will be compensated because, what is foremost on our mind is safety,” Okowa said.
He lauded the level of work done at the airport, stressing that the contractor was working hard to beat the 5 weeks deadline for the reopening of the airport for commercial activities.
“The contractor is right on course and they will deliver before the deadline, we are concentrating on the runway which must be of international standards, and we are confident that we will get one of the best in the country, I am happy with the pace of work” the Governor said.
Governor Okowa who was accompanied by some members of the state executive council trekked more than two kilometres of the three point four kilometre runway asking questions.
Project Manager of Setraco Nigeria Limited, Mr Jihad Yaghi thanked Governor Okowa for encouraging them to speed up the delivery of the project, noting that all hands are on deck to complete the job before the set deadline.
Special Project Director, Asaba Airport Project, Hon. Austin Ayemidejor who was among those that took the Governor and his team round the project site, assured the Governor that the contractor handling the project was working round the clock to deliver the project before the deadline and to specifications.