By Codratus Godson
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is partnering with the Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) to restore some failed sections of the East-West Road in Rivers State to reduce the pains of road users. RCC is doing it without charges due to appeals by the NDDC. The pro bono job may affect only the Eleme to Onne area of Rivers State.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Gbene (Dr) Joi Nunieh, who inspected the Akpajo to Onne Junction axis of the road, stated that the Commission would undertake an assessment of the Aleto Bridge in Eleme, along the route, with a view to saving it from collapse.
Nunieh was accompanied by the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang and the Director Project Monitoring and Supervision, Engr Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua.
The NDDC CEO said that the Commission was worried by the deplorable state of the road and had to make effort to avoid a situation where road users, travelling during the festive season, would be stuck for several hours because of the bad road.
She said: “We appealed to the RCC to collaborate with us to address the emergency on many sections of the East-West Road. They have graciously accepted to work on the bad spots to ease the pains of travelers during this Christmas season by ensuring that traffic does not build up on the road at this period.
“They agreed to do it free of charge, as a way of supporting the next level NDDC 2020 agenda. We want to thank the Management of RCC, as they have assured us that they are going to start work immediately.”
Nunieh enjoined other construction companies to enter into partnership with NDDC, to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta to make the region better, stating that development was not just about awarding contracts.
At the Aleto Bridge in Eleme, the NDDC boss said that the Commission would intervene urgently to avoid a disaster. I have directed our engineers to quickly assess the problem to come up with a design for the repairs.
She remarked: “This is truly a tragedy and accident waiting to happen. We need to do something urgently to avert the looming disaster.”
Nunieh appealed to people in the area to stop dredging activities close to the bridge to save it from erosion which was threating the integrity of the bridge.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director had earlier inspected on-going construction at the 13-floor permanent headquarters building of the Commission at the Eastern By-Pass, Port Harcourt, where she expressed satisfaction with the quality of work at the site.
She said: “I am happy with the performance of the contractor. But we are going to make some changes in the design. We will take off the cladding on the walls for safety reasons. The contractor has been directed to take down the claddings. We are the Niger Delta Development Commission and we take safety and environment issues very seriously. We will make sure that this building is well built to meet international standards. It must meet all specifications required for an environmentally-friendly work place.
Nunieh re-stated the commitment of the NDDC to ensure that the new office complex was completed on schedule, stating that quality would not be compromised. She, however, urged all suppliers involved in the project to work faster so as not to delay the planned work schedule.
She observed: “We insist on using the best quality materials available because we must get value for money committed to the project. We will move into the new headquarters by the end of March, 2020. This building has been going on for 22 years, so, we cannot wait to move in.”