Communities living within the surroundings of Ayakoromo/Egbo – Ideh bridge have been reassured of the commitment of the Delta State Government to complete the bridge within the shortest possible time.
The reassurance was given by the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, during a meeting held at Asaba with a coalition of Civil Society Groups/Riverine Communities within the Ayakoromo bridge area.
Giving a synopsis of the Ayakoromo/Egbo-Ide bridge project, the Commissioner stated that the project entails the construction of a 612 metres long bridge across the Forcados River with 200 metres of approach road at a total cost of N6.5 billion. The sum of N3.1 billion has been paid to date and the overall completion of the project to date is 32%.
Dr Emu emphasized the importance of the project to the government while informing the gathering that the stoppage of work was due to the drastic shortfall in revenues to the state government occasioned by both external and internal factors in the oil market.
The Commissioner assured the group that with the resumption of activities at Forcados terminal and the current trend of oil prices in the global market, government was optimistic about improved funding.
Appreciating the group for choosing the path of peace and dialogue, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Asaba, Hon. Tam Brisibe, on behalf of the government team stated that government was aware of the plight of those living in the affected communities, emphasizing the government of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is very interested in the development of riverine communities and that can be confirmed through ongoing projects in Burutu, Ogulaha and Oporoza, promiseing that the Governor will not fail on his promise concerning the bridge.
Earlier, the members of the Coalition had advocated for the immediate resumption of work on the bridge through supplementary budget as this will reassure the communities who voted massively for the governor since this will make them work more for the governor’s re-election as well as give them a sense of belonging.
The group also advocated more government presence in the riverine areas in other to open up the place for accelerated business and development noting that a lot of commercial activities including oil exploration and production, farming and aquaculture abound in the area.
Other members of the government team were the Commissioner of Works, Chief James Augoye, and the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Engr. Fred Edafioghor.