*SEEKS REFUND FOR REHABILITATION OF FEDERAL ROADS
In a concerted effort to comprehensively tackle the perennial menace of flooding and erosion, which have ravaged Asaba and environs, the Delta state government is set to implement a comprehensive infrastructural programme, which includes the dredging of three Rivers in the state capital territory, namely; the Anwai, Iyiabi and Amilimocha Rivers to accommodate flood water from the storm drainage that is being constructed in Asaba, the construction of fifteen roads in Okpanam community in Oshimili North Local Government Area and the continuous desilting of the already completed drains at Asaba end, as a result of the sand coming from Okpanam axis,
This disclosure was made by the Delta State Commissioner for Works, Chief. James Augoye, during a press briefing in Asaba on Monday, August 19, 2019.
Flanked by the State Commissioner for Information. Mr. Charles Aniagwu and the Chief Press Secretary. CPS, to the state Governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, the Works Commissioner, who stressed that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration was determined to build roads that would stand the test of time, also used the platform to confirm that the Delta State government is yet to receive a refund for the massive rehabilitation works done on Federal roads, from the Federal Government state, but had instead received a promissory note in lieu of the refund.
Chief Augoye further stated that the contractor handling the Okpanam Road project had completed the drains on both sides of the road and was doing remedial work to enable residents use the road and while appealing to the residents to be patient with the state government until the rains subsided when work on the additional roads would commence, assured that the government understand their plight and would make sure the roads and drainage projects are completed as soon as possible.
The works commissioner who debunked rumour making the round that the contractor handling the Asaba-Ase Road had demobilize from site stated that work on the road was ongoing, even as he noted emphatically that the state government had no intension to abandon the project and encouraged indigenes to take ownership of projects in their communities as this would give them the opportunity to monitor the contractor and engineers to ensure that there was no compromise in meeting specifications and high standards.
Noting that the state government had agreed with contractors to undertake the construction of only culvert/concrete works due to the rains, Chief Augoye gave the assurance that the 7.2km Asaba-Ase Road project would be completed, adding that deliberate action had been taken to ensure positive result in delivery of the Asaba-Ase community Road project.
“What we are doing now is stone base work, after the rain, the contractor would be fully mobilised to site, no road project has been abandoned, so I don’t know why the community protesting,” Aguoye said.
The Works Commissioner also took time to explain the reason for the delay in the completion of Ikpide-Irri Road, stating that his ministry discovered that the road needed drains on both side, which required that the project be redesigned to accommodate the construction of the second drains on the road, since it was on low land and that the state government had already warded the contract for the new drains.
Chief Augoye, who further clarified that Ministry of Works would only embark on long distance and highly technical roads which require proper investigation affirmed that the Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency and Warri/Uvwie Development Agency would be in charge of short distance and internal roads in Asaba, Warri and environs for quick result.
Addressing the issue of refunds owed the Delta State government for renovation of Federal roads, the Works Commissioner stated that the state has mobilised a team of engineers to patch all the federal roads and had embarked on rehabilitation of failed portions of Federal Government roads in order to avoid the deaths of citizens plying the roads.
Aguoye said, “We have been intervening on the Federal Government failed roads; Benin/Sapele/ Agbor/ Eku roads and Asaba/Kwale/ Ugheli road to make it safer for Deltans and other road users.
“As we speak, the state has not been refunded but we have received a promissory note from the Federal Government on the job we executed. We have also defended it at the National Assembly.
“We are now working on the sector ‘A’ of Ughelli/Asaba road, earthwork cannot be properly done as a result of rainy season.
“We are taking actions to address the challenges of road construction across the state especially this rainy season. Our people are facing serious challenges and complaining, so we have to intervene on these federal roads because it is our people that are using it,” he emphasized.