By Ignatius Ushie
The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Senator Godswill Akpabio has appealed to protesting Niger Delta youths to bear with the Federal Government, assuring that the Ministry is taking adequate intervention steps to address the deplorable state of the Eleme-Onne Section of the East-West road soon and ensuring the completion of the project by 2022.
In a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, it was stated that Akpabio disclosed this while meeting with the Ogoni Ethnic Nationality stakeholders recently to appeal for peace and calmness by the youths in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Babayo Ardo he informed that with the review of the initial contract scope of work and contract unit rates imperative, specific measures for addressing the contingent site conditions militating against the progress of work were taken.
According to him, the initial design for interchange bridges at Onne Junction is to be substituted with a flyover bridge due to space constraints caused by the newly constructed Power Sub-Station which cannot be relocated due to higher cost implication of the interchange bridge initially designed for Refinery Junction.
The scope of works include and not limited to- Widening the road from 2-lane dual carriage to a 3-lane dual carriageway; Increasing the thickness of the asphalt layer; Constructing interchange bridges at Refinery and Onne Port Junction to smoothen traffic flow; Constructing a new 51m long Reinforced concrete bridge on Port Harcourt- bound carriageway at Aleto; Construction of a 128m and 168m long deck-on-pile bridges at Km.59+500 and Km.61+000, he stated.
The Minister, therefore, urged the Ogoni Youths, relevant stakeholders and Niger Deltans “to exercise patience with us as the Ministry is committed to bringing succour to the People of the Niger Delta”.