Development Department, Mrs. Brigid Ephraim 3rd from right, front row and Leader, Pen Prime Consultancy Ltd, Prof. Alhassan Muhammad (middle) in a group photograph with Stakeholders and participants at the workshop
By Ignatius Ushie
The Section I-V of the East-West road which span across five States (Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River) when completed would cost above half a Trillion Naira.
In a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Dr. Babayo Ardo made this known at the Stakeholders’ validation workshop on “Access Management and Mitigation Action Plan” held on Monday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
Dr. Babayo Ardo who was represented by the Director Housing and Urban Development Department MNDA, Town Planner (TPl) Michael Oloruntola Olufemi in his keynote address stated that the dual carriage way which is designed to function as a regional spine on the East-West axis will promote unimpeded movement of goods and passengers in the Niger Delta.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the three inter connected essential parts of the complementary programme for the East-West Road include “Access Management and Mitigation Action Plan; Corridor Development Plan and Collaboration; and Corridor Preservation Project”.
Babayo Ardo further stated that the East-West road corridor, like most other Federal roads in Nigeria is being impacted by settlement developments in many towns and cities along it, which includes Ughelli, Patani, Port Harcourt and Eket.
According to him, “It is for this reason that the Ministry birthed the complementary programme to rally collective efforts to plan, protect and manage the road corridor to curtail the natural tendencies of settlement growths towards it. This would ensure that goals, targets and Return on Investment (ROI) envisaged from the road development are not diminished or lost.”
In order to facilitate the achievement of desired aspiration of the corridor, the Permanent Secretary urged all stakeholders to play their roles singularly and collectively while States should take pro-active steps based on the recommendations contained in the report.
Speaking further, Dr. Ardo, stated that after presenting the draft final report, the next stage is implementation of the plan and noted the need to work faster to recover lost grounds on the work programme.
Speaking on behalf of Pen Prime Consultancy Limited, the company that prepared the draft final report, Dr. Daniel Peverga Dam stated that from the findings, the East-West road when completed would ease traffic and improve safety of the road among other benefits which will ultimately improve socio-economic development and accessibility within and outside the region.