Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says his administration is deliberately creating new roads through Woji and Eleme Towns into Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone to encourage substantial industrial activities and advance Rivers economy.
Such roads, governor Wike listed are the new 10.3kilometre Indorama-Agbonchia-Ogale-Ebubu-East West Link Road; the 6.5kilometre dual carriage Woji-Aleto-Alesa-Refinery Road, the reconstruction of the 7.2kilometre long Alode-Onne Road and 3kilometre Alode internal Roads .
Governor Wike spoke at the flag-off of reconstruction work on the 7.2kilometre long Alode-Onne Road and 3kilometre internal Roads on Tuesday, which was performed by Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State in Alode town of Eleme Local Government Area.
The governor said Eleme council serves as the economy hub of Rivers State and everything is being done to attract more investors while encouraging already existing ones.
Governor stated that the efforts for his administration are deliberate and determined to open up the area some more.
He expressed the hope, that someday soon, the federal government could awaken to its responsibility and respond to rehabilitating the deplorable East/ West Road.
“This is the economic hub of the State, therefore everything must be done to make sure more economic activities are attracted here. Opening all these roads will of course give the companies the hope that one day the Federal Government will remember the East West Road.”
Governor Wike thanked Eleme people for the sustained support to his administration since 2015 and the trusted political leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) they nominated to work with him.
The governor pointed to how selfless their leaders have being by working assiduously to attract development to the area and not being content with personal aggrandizement.
Governor Wike reiterated his conviction about the need why people should use whatever privileged position they have to work for the betterment of the people and communities they represent.
The governor remarked that the likes of Isaac Kamalu and Senator Olaka Nwogu, among other leaders, are behind some development projects attracted to the area.
With proof of such democratic dividend, Governor Wike said, Eleme people will listen to their leaders when they come to tell them who to vote in the 2023 general election.
Governor Wike emphasised that their sons, particularly Orji Ngofa, a former Nigerian ambassador to The Netherlands and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to attract democratic dividend to his people despite the fact that he served the Federal government and was closed to the former minster of transportation.
“Look at the only seaport (Onne) we have that is employing our youths, while we had a minister of transportation and Orji was an ambassador, what happened? They killed our seaport.”
Performing the flag-off, former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke noted that despite the heightening political activities, governor Wike has not abdicated governance.
Duke said it takes a man who loves his people and desire the gains of development for them that will set out 23 more days flagging off of more projects at the twilight of the administration.
The former Cross River State governor acknowledged that governor Wike has developed Rivers State tremendously and secured the peace, which has made it liveable for all Nigerians.
Duke regretted that in Nigeria, critical roads to connect seaports to industrial companies are not constructed and maintained. Such bad culture, he pointed out, frustrates evacuation of goods to the market and for export, thereby making the county to lose massive revenue.
“Unfortunately, there’s a complete disregard for the critical sectors of our economy. that you cannot have ingress or egress out of Eleme is a sad thing to say. Ordinarily, this should be a national concern. You can’t cut your nose to spite your face. This is what Nigeria does all the time. Forget the politics, forget what party is leading. Forget who the governor is, but you get massive revenues from the investments that are in these areas and you ignore evacuation.”
Duke expressed optimism that with the massive investment in roads and other critical infrastructure in Rivers State, which ironically is not the richest in the country, it will soon emerge the industrial heartbeat of the nation.
“If each state had done something to the extent in which they can, and this state is not the richest state in Nigeria. There are states that get a lot more, but you can’t see it. You have to really strain your eyes to see what they’ve done with their resources.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr George-Kelly Dakorinima Alabo said the reconstruction of the 7. 2 kilometre long Alode-Onne Road and Alode internal roads are symbolic and are of serious economic importance to the State.
Dr. Alabo stated that the Alode-Onne Road which measures 7.2 kilometres long, 10.3 meters wide with drains of 900 by 900 millimetres depth of 150 millimetres wall thickness and 150 millimetres base thickness, will create alternative route from East/West to promote ease of doing business.
According to Dr. Alabo, the Alode Internal Roads are 11 in number, measuring 3kilometres in length, of 7.3meters wide with drains on both sides.