Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, has called for the urgent reconstruction of the East-West road and Eleme corridor to end the “suffering” being experienced by the road users.
Fubara spoke on Wednesday when members of a senate ad hoc committee led by Abdul Ningi, the chairperson, visited him at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers.
The East-West road which links the south-south, south-east and western parts of the country has been in a bad state for years.
In July, the senate constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the non-completion of the road and find a possible solution to the protracted issue.
Fubara asked the senate committee not to end the tour with only a field assessment of the state of the road but also to ensure that urgent repairs are carried out.
“Knowing full well how important the East-West road junction from Eleme to Onne is, I don’t see why there should be endless debates about it,” the governor said.
“It is still a big problem for us. A problem that affects 10 LGAs. Sections of Obio Akpor, Okrika, Ogu Bolo, and my senatorial district were completely affected. It should be something previous governments should have taken a clear decision on.
“I was the former account general of Rivers. I feel very bad. I know how much was deducted from FAC for critical national projects. Why was the East-West road not part of that?
“I wrote the ministry of works a letter — for two months you can’t access my place. You have to pass Oyigbo. I ask what remedial effort we can make. It is a federal road but it is my people who suffer the pains of its deplorable state.
“It is a federal road but it is my people that are suffering. So, I want to appeal to you, that it should not just be a public hearing or a question of how much was paid and not paid. You should move far from much talking to making an actual commitment.”
While addressing the governor, Ningi said a public hearing will be convened with all stakeholders in attendance to ascertain why the road hasn’t been completed.
“Having seen this road physically, we will go and do an open public hearing whereby the contractors, government, representatives of the south-south, ministry of works, NNPCL, ministry of finance, we will all sit down in Abuja and invite people to bring in their excuses,” Ningi said.
“First we want to establish how much has been spent overtime on the road, how much for what job done by who and why. We are not apportioning blame for now.”[THE CABLE]