Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, has said the emergency repairs on failed portions of the East-West Road, between Eleme Junction and Onne Junction in Rivers State would be completed within three weeks.
Ekere gave the assurance while inspecting work on the road yesterday.
He was accompanied by the Executive Director Projects, Mr. Samuel Adjogbe, and other directors of the commission.
The NDDC Chief Executive stressed the importance of the road, describing it as the gateway to economic activities in the Niger Delta region.
He declared: â€œThis road means a whole lot to the people of the Niger Delta.â€
Ekere said NDDC would ensure that the project was properly supervised to guarantee quality, adding: â€œSo far, the quality of work here is impressive. I am not an engineer, but even as a lay man, the fact that you have to excavate as much as 2.5 metres in some areas to remove unsuitable materials before sand filling, speaks a lot about the work.â€
He commended the contractor for mobilising to the site promptly and challenged other Nigerian contractors to work more for quality rather than profit.
â€œIt is not as if the type of engineering we study in Nigeria is different from what is obtainable in any other part of the world. It is just a question of our attitude to work,â€ he declared.
Ekere stated further: â€œFor us in NDDC, we are interested in quality. We want to shame our critics and we want to ensure that we deliver for the common good of the people of the Niger Delta. We are committed to delivering quality roads and other infrastructure that meet international best practices and standards.â€
The NDDC boss said the objective of the commission was to ameliorate the sufferings of motorists who ply the road, as well as improve the living conditions of the people of the region and urged the contractor to speed up work on the repairs.
Briefing the NDDC boss on the emergency repairs, the Project Manager, Mr. Efe Eloho, said they faced a challenge with the soil texture, but promised that the repairs would stand the test of time.
He noted: â€œWe excavate as much as 2.5 metres in some areas to remove unsuitable materials before filling with sharp sand and hard core.â€
Eloho said although the road was a major route for fuel tankers, he could guarantee that it would last for up to 20 years because of the high quality of work put into it.
Some excited motorists, who met the team at the inspection site at the Eleme Junction axis, praised the NDDC for the urgent intervention.