By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has formally intervened in the neglected Igwurita -Chokocho -Etche Federal Highway to the agricultural basket of the state, with the declaration that the road will be completed in a record six months.
A statement signed by Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.Simeon Nwakaudu, informed that flagging off the reconstruction of the 6.6kilometre Igwurita -Chokocho -Etche Federal Highway to be handled by Setraco Nigeria Limited, Governor Wike said that the road will be funded through the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, account.
According to him, the contractors will receive N400million monthly to defray the N2.4billion cost for the construction of the road.
He directed the State Commissioner for Works and the Finance Commissioner to liaise with the contractors to ensure monthly payment of the approved sum to the contractor.
He said: “We believe that politics is about the welfare of the people. This road is critical to the people of Etche and their Igwurita neighbours. It is vital to their economies, hence we have resolved to complete it in a record time of six months.
“I agree that this is a Federal Road, but we cannot sit and allow our people suffer. We will construct this road to the satisfaction of our people. We will pay Setraco N400million monthly through IGR to ensure work goes on regularly till the completion of this project “.
Speaking further, Governor Wike said it is unfortunate that Ikwerre Local Government Area produced the immediate past governor for eight years with key Etche indigenes in his government, yet the economies of Etche and Ikwerre Local Government Areas collapsed due to the bad road.
He said : “When they were in power, they were receiving over N20billion monthly, but they refused to do the road. Today, we are receiving only N5billion monthly, but we have the political will and dedication to reconstruct the road. This is because we are committed to our social contract with the people of Etche and Igwurita .
“This marks the end of suffering for Etche people. We are replicating this reality across Rivers State “.
In his remarks, Rivers State Works Commissioner, Kelvin Wachukwu said that the ministry will monitor the road construction to ensure that the contractor delivers in line with specifications.
He said that road is a critical arterial road that will serve the people of Ikwerre and Etche Local Government Areas.
Also speaking, Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Mr Samuel Nwanosike commended Governor Wike for his timely intervention in reconstructing the dilapidated road.