25 April 2016, Port Harcourt – The Niger Delta Development Commission says the construction of Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State will promote business activities in the riverine state.
The acting Managing Director, NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, promised that the contractor handling the multi-billion naira project would return to the site and speed up completion of the project.
The Nembe-Ogbia road construction is a partnership project between the NDDC and Shell Petroleum Development Company to link about 14 communities in the state.
Semenitari spoke during a meeting with the Amayanabo of Nembe, King Edmund Daukoru (Mingi XII), stressing that the commission needed the cooperation of the monarch to avert a repeat of the attack on construction workers.
It will be recalled that some gunmen had on April 5, 2016, killed two soldiers and kidnapped an expatriate at the construction site, a development that forced SETRACO, the contractor handling the project, to abandon the project.
The acting NDDC boss expressed regret that the incident had affected the completion deadline of the first phase of the project, which was fixed for April 29.
She said, “The Nembe-Ogbia Road reminds us of history; tells our story and even the story of slavery. That area has the potential for the deepest seaport in Nigeria and so, the completion of that road will open the whole area to limitless business growth and opportunities.
“We have already fixed this April as the date for the inauguration of the first phase of the road before the ugly incident. Our schedule was to open the Ogbia-Nembe section on April 29, then flag off the second phase that will link Brass to her neighbours by road.
“But all that had been drawn backwards. But because we want that road to continue, which is for the benefit of the people and the Niger Delta region, we have come to you to use your influence to resolve the circumstances behind the contractor’s de-mobilisation.”
Semenitari also commended the king for the role he played in the recommencement of the road and urged him to find a lasting solution to abduction of the expatriates.
“To further prove our commitment to the completion of this Ogbia-Nembe-Brass road, we have included it in the 2016 budget,” she added.
Daukoru, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, affirmed the road was critical to the people of Nembe and described the community as a well-structured society, where young men were capable of giving good account of themselves.
Also present at the meeting were some directors of the commission, Strategy Manager, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. David Anyanwu, and Project Engineer, SPDC, Mr. Godwin Ikwue.