Following the worsening deplorable condition of the Eleme-Ogoni section of the East-West Road, the people of Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, have expressed regrets over the bad state of the federal road.
Chairman of Eleme LGA, Chief Obarilomate Ollor, in Port Harcourt, disclosed that the cash the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari released to fix the section of the road was insufficient to deliver it, adding that palliative job on the deplorable road could not be completed as proposed.
Ollor said the then Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, had intervened for the Federal Government to fix the road after the people of Eleme shutdown the said section of the road for two weeks.
He noted that Federal Government had released N2.5 billion to fix the road, but the cash released then was not enough to put the road in a manageable condition.
He said: “The East-West road has been an issue during my administration. When I was sworn in, the bridge at Eleto caved in, we protested that they should work on the road.
“The protest lasted for two weeks. The then Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio, assured that the road would be done. But the money that was given out was not enough to do that road.
“They released about N2.5 billion. They did that to pacify the people. They did soil text, moved the polls like two metres away. They made design and paid some damages and the money got finished.”
Ollor noted that after the period, he personally went to Abuja to see the way forward for the road and that the then Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, was tasked to release fund for the project through its tax to the Federal Government, but till date, nothing notable has happened on the road.
He said: “During the review, there was need for an upward review of the money involved. I personally met with the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola. It was presented and got approval from the Federal Executive Council in the last administration.
“The instruction from Buhari was that the NNPC should fund through their tax. We don’t understand what is holding the NNPC to start the project, because what is holding the road is the refusal of the NNPC to release fund to the construction company, RCC.”