Yenogoa-Bayelsa State governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has given December 2014 deadline for the completion of the multi-billion naira Ogbia-Nembe road, as he presented a acheque of N3bn as balance payment to the contractor, SETRACO Plc.
Contract for the over 40 years old road was awarded about six years ago by Shell Petroleum Development Company,SPDC, in conjunction with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, but the project was stalled due to alleged poor funding.
Presenting the financial instrument during the monthly transparency briefing yesterday, at the banquet hall, Dickson said theb timely completion of the project was dear to the heart of his adminstration due to the relevance of the area to the economic growth of the state.
He said: "The Ogbia-Nembe road is leading to a very crucial area of our state and country. That is the road that will lead us to Brass island which is going to be the economic nucleus of not just our state and geo-political zone, but for the whole of this country and even for West Africa.
"But you can't get there unless you first get to Nembe. I know that some efforts were made to try and do a road from Nembe to Brass but the first thing to do by any pragmatic government, is to see how you construct a road from Ogbia to Nembe before linking Brass island. That is the practical way to go about it."
The governor commended the efforts of SPDC and NDDC at breaking the fallow ground, noting that it had become more imperative for the state government to intervene in order to alleviate the sufferings of the people of the area.
"I am aware thata SPCD and NDDC have been partnering on that road and I want to commend them for that partnership. But the partnership that has been going on for so long is making our people impatient and rightly so because we need to least drive to Nembe while waiting for the road to get to Brass.
"When I look at the situation and hear the complaints from that area and see the sufferings of the people from that area and how, on a adaily basis, innocent law-abiding people suffer indignities and inconveniences and sometimes attacks from sea pirates and other bandits who take advantage of the creeks and rivulets in that area, it becomes clear that the government means well for our people and must do something about it."
By Samuel Oyadongha