Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Travellers on the flood-ravaged Ahoada section in Rivers State of the East-West Road now have easier access. This followed the immediate intervention of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Ibitoye Abosede, Director, Corporate Affairs, in a press statement said the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Engr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, expressed satisfaction with the progress made by Setraco Construction Company Limited, when he visited the Ihuike, near Ahoada, a section of the road today, Tuesday morning.
He said: “There was no thoroughfare between Delta State, Rivers State and Bayelsa due to the devastation caused by flood, NDDC has intervened and there is now thoroughfare.
“They have been mobilized and we expect this road to be ready for use by the people of Niger Delta. We expect that in a few weeks, with the construction going on, they’ll bring the road to a state of motor ability.”
“I thank Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari who has been a caring and listening father, I thank the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta, Umana Umana for visiting the flood site despite his busy schedule and ensuring that work commenced immediately.”
At the site of ongoing works, the Project Manager, East-West Road (Rivers State),
Engr Michel Issa, said: “The Minister of Niger Delta and the NDDC MD has put us under pressure to complete this road for the people of Niger Delta. We have been mobilized and I am appealing for more time to finish the work.”
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commenced emergency repairs of the flood-ravaged sections of the East-West Road at Ahoada in Rivers State, Mbiama in Bayelsa State and Patani in Delta State.
Speaking during an inspection of the restoration work at Ihuike Community in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua stated that the intervention had restored the link between Rivers and Bayelsa states.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was accompanied by other Directors of the Commission, was given an on the site briefing by the Project Manager for SETRACO, Engr. Mitchell Issa.
Audu-Ohwavborua noted that the devastation was massive, necessitating the directive by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, to the NDDC to move in immediately to restore the road and make it motorable.
He stated: “We were here a week ago with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs on the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was concerned about the devastation caused by the flood.
The day we visited, no vehicle could ply between Rivers and Bayelsa States.
“These are the kinds of things that the NDDC is created for, to intervene in critical situations. Now, there is some thoroughfare between Rivers and Bayelsa State. Hopefully, in the coming days, there will be thoroughfare between Bayelsa and Delta states. The Ahoada section is already motorable.”
The NDDC boss commended the project contractor on the progress of the rehabilitation work on the road, noting: “We expect more progress in the coming days in the interest of the people of the Niger Delta region that have endured a lot of pains on account of the flood.”
The Project Manager of SETRACO, Engr. Michell Issa described the damage on the road as “severe and huge.” He, however, assured me that the company would take all necessary measures to make the road motorable in the shortest possible time.
He said: “We mobilized our equipment to the very bad sections as soon as the flood receded. We are currently contending with three sections that are worst hit by the flood.”
Issa promised that the road links to Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta State would soon be restored, noting: “It is challenging because the road is acting like a dam to the floodwaters but we have been working on that and have got it under control. In one week, we hope to repair the bad sections and bring the road back to a motorable condition.
Our Correspondent reports that travelling along the flood-impacted areas of the Ahoada Axis of the link road cutting across the States in the Niger Delta has been a nightmare.
Boats, Motorbikes and heavy-duty trucks were used to cross over impacted before the continuation of the journey.