03 Lagos January 2014, Lagos – It was a landmark achievement for the oil communities of Nembe and Ogbia in Bayelsa State as the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), accompanied by a team from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC)-operated Joint Venture (JV) drove to Nembe city through the Ogbia – Nembe road being constructed by Setraco.
The trip marked an important milestone in the construction of the key highway in the Niger Delta.
According to Shell’s spokesman, Precious Okolobo, Phase 1 of the project linking Imiringi and Ogbia involved a 38-kilometre stretch with two major bridges and was completed in 2005, funded solely by the SPDC JV while phase 2 links Ogbia and Nembe, measuring a distance of over 27 kilometres with six bridges and more than 50 culverts across very difficult swamp terrain.
Okolobo said contract for this phase was awarded in December 2005 and work commenced in February the following year but has been disrupted several times by security challenges. The phase 2 project, he said, costs N24.4 billion of which the SPDC JV is funding 70 per cent with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) responsible for the remaining 30 per cent.
The entourage of the Deputy Governor which included members of the Bayelsa State Executive Council and traditional rulers, Okolobo said, stopped briefly at the project office site, where the contractor disclosed that the road was 60 per cent completed, and complained of disruptions to dredging activities by community youths.
He said the Deputy Governor warned against such activities, saying that perpetrators would face the “full weight of the law.” Rather, all genuine grievances should be channelled to government for quick resolution.
The entourage was warmly received at Nembe by the Amanyanabo of Nembe (Mingi X11) Dr. Edmund Daukoru and his council of chiefs. He expressed delight at the progress of work and lauded SPDC, NDDC and the Baylesa State Government as well as the contractor “for making the dream of the Nembe people come true.” He pointed out that the Ogbia-Nembe Road would improve the economy of the area.
Shell’s Government and Community Relations Manager, Evans Krukrubo who led SPDC’s team said: “This is history in the making. Nobody believed this will happen, but it is true, we have come to Nembe by road. SPDC Joint venture is pleased to play a major role in making this happen.”
– The Nation