Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has reiterated its desire to link all the riverine communities in the state by road to unearth the economic potentials in the coastal areas and give the residents a new lease of life.
The state government said that it would complete ongoing major projects aimed at linking rural communities in the three senatorial districts with Yenagoa, the state capital.
Director, New Media to the Governor, Dr. Kola Oredipe, gave the assurance while conducting journalists through an assessment tour of ongoing road projects in the state.
Among the road projects inspected were the Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central Senatorial roads aimed at linking communities in Sagbama and Ekeremor as well as Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas with the state capital.
During the assessment tour, there were indications that construction works was in progress on the Bayelsa Central Senatorial Road, which is the 22.2 kilometer Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie Road at the cost of N31.4 billion to link Yenagoa with Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and many other adjoining communities located deep in the creeks which are only accessible through its waterways at the moment.
Since the creation of Bayelsa in 1996 by the administration of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, some of the local government areas including Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw and Brass were not connected to the state capital and other towns in the state by road until the administration of Governor Douye Diri, who has already extended roads to Ekeremor town and Angiama in Southern Ijaw, while work is ongoing to connect Brass through Nembe.
Leading newsmen on the tour of some of the road projects embarked by the state government on Monday, Oredipe said that the priority is to open up the riverine communities that are logged in water and ensure that the economic lives of the residents are more visible.
He said that the government has already committed huge resources on the 42 kilometers Sagbama-Ekeremor Road with the construction of about six bridges across the rivers on the stretch to link the communities in the local government, while asphalt work is about 80 per cent completed to save the residents from rigorous travel from river to access other communities in the state.
He added that the 32 kilometers Yenagoa-Oporoma-Okubia Road that would open communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area is already in its last phase, as work is ongoing to cross the longest bridge on that stretch from Angiama across River Nun to Oporoma, the headquarters of Southern Ijaw, which has never been accessible by road.
He said: “A lot of work has been done between Toro-Orua up to this point in Ekeremor town. We are in the last bridge linking Ekeremor town by road, we have asphalted up to Isampou community, and the remaining stretch is just Isampou community and Ekeremor main town, from Toro-Orua to Angalabiri, then we get to Ofoni and Ayamasa, and Aleibiri, you will see that about five communities and other communities inside, meaning that this road has provided access to several riverine communities in the state. With the way contractor is working, the road will be ready by February next year.
“We have constructed five bridges on the stretch leading to Ekeremor town already, supposedly we are on sixth one. The road is a 42 kilometer stretch from Toro-Orua upto Ekeremor main town, five bridges have already been completed by the government.
“The government is also working on the Gloryland Drive in Yenagoa, 10.2 kilometer dualised road from Ecumenical Centre up to Amossoma Road, from there we also drove through Igbogene-AIT outer ring road, 21 kilometer, the Igbogene axis has been completed, and were we are here in Angiama Community where the bridge is being constructed across River Nun to Oporoma, the headquarters of Southern Ijaw Local Government, the priority of prosperity government of Senator Douye Diri is to open up the riverine communities that are logged in water.