The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has pledged to complete the 46-kilometre road linking several communities in Ukwa East Local Government Area of Abia State to the commercial city of Aba.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Gbene Dr Joi Nunieh, who made the promise while inspecting the Obohia-Ohanku-Aba Road stalled at Ndiegoro community, assured that the project would be tackled as a matter of urgency.
Nunieh was accompanied by a member of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, Hon Okezie Kalu; the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang and other directors of the Commission.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the Interim Management Committee of the Commission had the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari to take development to the rural communities, especially those in the oil-producing areas.
Nunieh described the situation at Ndiegoro as a disaster that called for an emergency intervention, stating that the densely populated community would be made to feel the impact of the Federal Government through the NDDC.
She said: “We have to get this road done quickly as an emergency, so that the people can get a relief. That is why we are here to assess the situation and respond appropriately to the concerns of the people, including the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
“We are assuring the people that President Buhari cares for the welfare of the less privileged people in the rural communities and we are here on his instructions to make sure that the people benefit from development projects.”
The NDDC boss said that the Commission was determined to get all communities in the Niger Delta, particularly the oil-producing areas, working again. “I want to assure the people of this area that they are part of Nigeria and that they have not committed any offence for having oil in their communities,” Nunieh said, adding that “the fact that they have oil in their area should confer some benefits on them in the sharing of national resources.”
She wondered how the people of Ndiegoro were coping in situations of medical emergency, given that they were not likely to get help quickly because it would take two to three hours to get to the next city.
Thousands of residents of the community trooped out on sighting the NDDC inspection team to express their desire for urgent intervention which had earlier been highlighted by the Abia State governor.
Dr Ikpeazu had told the NDDC team, during a courtesy visit, to address the challenges that had delayed the completion of the Ohanku-Aba Road.
According to the governor, “the road is a major link to the commercial city of Aba and an alternative route to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”