Delta State Government has awarded contracts for a total of 208 roads across the three senatorial districts of the state worth over N215 billion between 2015 and the first quarter of this year.
The state Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, who disclosed this at a press conference in Asaba yesterday, noted that some of the various road projects were inherited from past administrations.
Specifically, the works commissioner said a total of 108 of the ongoing roads projects, for which contracts have been awarded since 2015, were inherited from the Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan administrations.
Among the major road projects inherited by the Okowa administration are the Warri-Effurun road, which was initially meant to be a BRT dual-carriageway under the Uduaghan administration that originally awarded contracts for the project.
The Ibori government also originally awarded the road cum drainage project in the Jesus Saves road corridor, whose rehabilitation is continuing towards its completion under the Asaba multiple storm water project, he added.
The works commissioner, who was flanked by his information counterpart, Mr. Patrick Ukah, and some senior ministry officials, said: “The ministry has embarked on the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and maintenance of 193 road projects at the cost over N112 billion between May 2015 and March 2018 covering over 732 kilometres of roads and 229 kilometres of concrete-lined drains.
“The value of projects currently being handled by the ministry, including those inherited from the previous administration, is put at over N215 billion and involving 208 roads with a total length of 866 kilometres.
“Of this figure, 92 roads covering over 350 km have been completed while 116 roads are at various stages of completion.”
Augoye also stated that the strategic Asaba-Illah-Ubiaja (Edo State) road has not been ceded to Delta State but remains a federal road.
He, however, observed that the state government has not been reimbursed in respect of the three major interventions carried out on the failed portions on the Ughelli-Isoko-Asaba dual-carriageway, the Warri-Benin expressway and the Agbor-Abraka-Eku road.
Fielding questions from journalists, the works commissioner admitted that the menace of youths attempting to disrupt various ongoing projects and making unreasonable financial demands was gradually creeping into parts of Delta North communities.
He decried that there had been “cases of some youths disturbing contractors on site, with some of them demanding as much as N5,000 daily for doing nothing, and this is affecting some projects.”
Augoye assured Deltans that the government was tackling the problem through community leaders and such efforts were “yielding positive results.”