– By Johnson Ebigide
The Chairman of the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, has indicated the readiness of journalists in the state to monitor the construction of roads to ensure that they are delivered according to specifications.
Comrade Ikeogwu gave the indication when he led a delegation of members of his exco and some journalists in the state to pay a courtesy call on the Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, in his office in Asaba, the state capital.
The labour leader maintained that there was the urgent need to continue to monitor the construction of roads in the state to ensure that contractors handling such roads adhere strictly to the contract terms towards the delivery of such contracts according to specifications, saying that the level of failure of some roads constructed and delivered by some contractors in the state and beyond was becoming so worrisome.
While commending the state governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, for his passion in the construction and maintenance of roads across the three senatorial districts of the state, Comrade Ikeogwu frowned at the attitude of some contractors handling some roads in state for their failure to adhere strictly to the terms specified for the construction of such roads, adding that such unwholesome practice not only cost the state government additional money in maintaining such poorly delivered roads but had added to the frustrations of commuters in the state.
Responding, Chief Augoye thanked Comrade Ikeogwu for the visit and congratulated him and members of his exco for their victory at the recently conducted election of the union in the state, adding that the NUJ had been very instrumental in the development of the state.
He disclosed that the construction of some roads in the state were not directly under the supervisory purview of his ministry, adding that a necessary condition had been put in place to ensure that a contractor returned to site to correct any observed anomaly in a delivered job without extra cost to the state government , two years after such road was constructed.
The commissioner explained that it took several levels of technicality in the construction of roads, adding that the state government had taken note of that by ensuring that contractors handling road construction in the state were closely monitored towards effective job delivery, even as he called on journalists to complement in the monitoring exercise by reporting constructively any observed abnormalities in road construction by contractors handling the construction of the roads in the state.
In another development Comrade Ikeogwu commended the Head of Service (HOS) in the state, Mr Reginald Bayoko mni, for the untiring efforts at curbing the presence of ghost workers in the state civil service.
He gave the commendation when he led some journalists in the state in a courtesy visit to office of the HOS in Asaba.
The labour leader appreciated the administrative competence of the HOS, which, he said, had impacted positively in the productivity of civil servants in the state, saying that the visit to the HOS was to officially introduce members of his exco to him and seek a robust relationship of the union in the state with the HOS.
The HOS thanked him and his team for the visit, saying that there was the urgent need for journalists to be ethical in their reportages by ensuring that their stories were appropriately balanced with facts, even as he promised to assist the union in the state.