Directive on Abandoned Projects: NDDC Inaugurates 9km Road in Abia

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at the weekend inaugurated the reconstructed 9km Obehie-Okeikpe road, a hitherto abandoned project, in compliance to the presidential directives on abandoned projects.

It also flagged off the second phase of the reconstruction work starting from Akwette to Ohambele leading to Akwa Ibom State.

President Bola Tinubu had directed the new management of NDDC to ensure the completion of all abandoned projects scattered across the nine mandate states of the Commission before undertaking fresh projects.

Speaking at Obehie, Ukwa West Local Government, Abia State, the Managing Director of NDDC,  Samuel Ogbuku, said that the management of the Commission has taken the presidential charge to heart and “we have started” the implementation.

He said that “it wasn’t easy” to resuscitate and complete the road project due to due to inflationary trend since 2022 when the project was started and abandoned by previous management.

However, Ogbuku commended the contractor, People’s Concept, for conceding to do the job without cost variation thereby demonstrating that “he is a patriotic Niger Deltan” thereby becoming “.the flagship of our local contractors.”

He described the road project as “regional project” as it connects Abia to neighbouring Akwa Ibom, adding that the full benefits of the road would be enjoyed after the completion of the second phase.

The NDDC MD regretted that the agency had over the years been underappreciated but negative perceptions about the Commission were changing for better because “today’s NDDC is making a difference”.

He said that the inaugurated Obehie-Okeikpe Road has transformed lives in the area and more projects would be coming so long as peace and stability in the areas served by NDDC.

“My commitment to you is that NDDC is going to do better,” he assured the catchment states of the Commission.

The Deputy Governor of Abia State, Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu, who represented his boss at the event, commented the NDDC management “for a job well done”.

He said that Abia has already keyed into the renewed hope agenda of President Tinubu  and has built 10 new roads and rehabilitated 79 others across the nine mandate states.

Emetu said that while the NDDC has done noble to reconstruct the Obehie-Okeikpe Road, Abia still wants more and also wants the agency to complete all its abandoned projects in the state.

He promised that the Alex Otti administration would maintain a conducive environment needed by NDDC to execute its projects in Abia, warning traditional rulers to restrain their sujects from vandalism.

Meanwhile, Ogbuku said  apart from the project  in Abia,  NDDC, will in the next two weeks inaugurates 92 infrastructure projects executed at a cost of N84 billion across the nine mandates states in the region.

The projects, he said included; the 25.7 kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road, which creates a road link to the ancient city of Nembe, for the first time in living memory. The 9.15 km of pre-fabricated vertical drains on the swamp and seven Bridges is also among the star Projects in the area.

 These projects executed  at the cost of N24 billion, cuts the traveling time to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital from 3 hours on dangerous water routes/curves to mere 45 minutes and also opens up 14 communities for development.

The project was executed in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and is hailed as a model in NDDC’s partnership approach to tacking the development challenges of the region.

Also slated for inauguration  is the 132KV Transmission Line and I32KV/33KV Sub – station electrification project, executed at a cost of N8.3 billion to optimise power supply to local government areas in the southern part of Ondo State.

The project covers the construction of 45km double circuit 33KV feeder lines from Omotosho Power Station (Hook-up point) to Okitipupa and two 30MVA, 132/33KV Injection Substations with breakers, gantry and substation automation. It also includes the construction of a 3-bedroom semi-detached bungalow as service quarters.

The capacity of the power station is optimised with the provision of 2 x 60MVA, 132/33KV transformer and other ancillary works at Okitipupa injection Sub – station, rehabilitation of 35km 33/11KV transmission from Okitipupa-Igbokoda-Ugbonla and environs and the construction of 1km rigid pavement.

The electricity project will complement the Federal Government’s effort in the power sector development by improving power supply to Okitipupa, Igbokoda and other neighbouring communities in Ondo South Senatorial District, with direct value chain in small and medium scale industries, job creation and consequently engender growth and development in Ondo State.

 In Akwa Ibom State, NDDC will also inaugurates  the 6.87 Kilometre Iko – Iwuochang road in Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District of the state and consists of two-lane single carriage way, a 600-metre bridge and side drains.

The N10 billion virgin road project links 20 communities, hitherto separated by the Qua Iboe river.

Other projects for commissioning during the event will include roads, electrification, a police station, health centres and school blocks.

This feat achieved by the present board has proven it’s resolved during the inauguration that, it has accepted to be part of the “Renewed Hope” agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to delivering on his 8 points Presidential Priorities ranging from Food Security, Ending of Poverty in Inclusivity, Job Creation, Anti – Corruption Stance, Rule of Law amongst others.

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