Another major road is set to be built between Rivers and Imo states, apart from the Port Harcourt-Owerri Road through Elele and Omerelu, and the Igbo Etche – Ngor Okpala Road. There is also the Port Harcourt Aba-Owerri-Nta Road.
Now, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has pledged to fast-track the 25-kilometre dual carriage way linking Imo and Rivers states through oil-bearing communities in both states.
The NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, gave the assurance when he led a team of directors and engineers to inspect the road spanning several oil-producing communities. He explained that the road runs through Port Harcourt/Owerri Junction-Avu-Adapalm-Etekuru-Ohaji/Egbema to Ogba/Egbema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Ekere stated that the 25-kilometre dual carriageway was a very important project for the NDDC and the Niger Delta, “because it will enhance regional integration, which is one of the things the current NDDC board and management is passionate about.”
According to him, “the expansion of the road means that the project will cumulatively amount to constructing 50-kilometres of road because 25-kilometres of the existing road will be totally reconstructed.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer also inspected the construction of internal roads in Umueze, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. It included the road connecting Obolo in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area to Umueze 1 in Ehime Mbano LGA. He also inspected the completed multi-purpose civic centre built for the people of Umueze 1.
Addressing the traditional rulers and members of the communities, Ekere said that altogether, the NDDC was constructing 4 kilometres of internal roads in communities across the two local government areas.
Ekere thanked the people for the spontaneous reception accorded the inspection team from NDDC, noting that the Commission placed a lot of premium on the inspection of projects.
He said: “We have been going round inspecting various projects in Imo and other states in the Niger Delta. We inspected the on-going project linking Imo State to Rivers through the oil-bearing communities of Imo State.
“We are committed to building sustainable infrastructure in the Niger Delta. We don’t want to build roads that will fail after 6 months. We want to build infrastructure that will last. If we are able to complete one kilometer, let it be solid and one that will last for a long time.”
Ekere commended the contractor working on the Obolo-Umueze Road for taking measures to guarantee quality delivery, considering the challenging terrain of the Niger Delta region. He observed that at some portions of the road, the contractor was excavating unsuitable materials for as deep as 4 metres.
The NDDC boss urged the people to continue to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that had made it possible for development to reach the rural communities in the region. “I am happy that you have seen and you appreciate what the Federal Government is doing for your communities and indeed for the entire Niger Delta,” he declared.
The paramount ruler of Umueze 1, Eze Igu, expressed appreciation to the NDDC for building good roads for his communities. “By fixing our roads, you have shown us love and it has given us hope and confidence on the administration of President Buhari.
Similarly, the traditional ruler of Ihim, Eze Dr Oliver Obi, thanked the Federal Government for spreading development to the rural areas through interventionist agencies such as NDDC. “What the NDDC is doing for us is something we have not seen in the past and we commend the Federal Government for this positive change.”