The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has assured that the 23.5-kilometre Otuasega- Obedum- Emelego Road and bridges linking Bayelsa and Rivers State will be completed this year.
Executive Director Projects of the Commission, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, gave the assurance when he led a team of directors and engineers to inspect the regional road spanning nine agricultural-rich communities, as part of the Commission’s drive to complete all on-going projects in the Niger Delta. The road runs between Otuasega in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State through Obedum and Emelego in Abua-Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Engr. Adjogbe underlined the economic benefits of the road to the region and reaffirmed the commitment of the NDDC management, led by the Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, to complete all on-going projects in the Niger Delta in the shortest possible time.
Engr. Adjogbe explained that inadequate funding was a major challenge slowing down work on the road, noting: “Funding has been a drawback but we are determined to find ways of addressing the challenge. We will find funds to complete the road so that we can get the full value of the regional project.
“I am not happy that the road is taking longer than anticipated to complete. I can’t say that I am satisfied with the status of the road at this point. I will be satisfied only when the project is completed and handed over to the benefitting communities.”
He urged the community leaders in the area to support and cooperate with the contractor to ensure that there were no hindrances to meeting NDDC’s target to complete the project before the end of the year. He added: “The contractor will be appropriately funded to ensure that the target of delivering the project this year was realised.”
The NDDC Executive Director observed that the regional road was very important because it would help the people of the area to evacuate their agricultural produce to the cities for sale. He said that residents of the nine communities that are expected to benefit from the road were predominantly farmers, who were daily confronted with the challenges of conveying their farm produce like plantains, bananas and cassava, to urban areas.
The Community Liaison Officer for the project, Mr Sotonye Ezekiel, thanked the NDDC for making it possible for the people in several communities in both Rivers and Bayelsa states to drive to their villages. “Before now, coming to our community was a herculean task because the road was virtually impassable until the NDDC intervened,” he said.