In a bid to fast track the growth of the economy of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has developed a synergy between the Federal Government, major investors and the state government to repair a portion of the East – West Road linking the Onne Sea – Port.
The portion for immediate repairs starts from Eleme junction to the Onne Junction on the East-West road.
Governor Wike announced this at a meeting with the representatives of the participating companies and Federal Agencies at the Onne Sea Port on Saturday.
The governor announced that on Wednesday next week, the total repairs of the road will be flagged off, while the contractor, RCC will be paid 50 percent of the contract sum expected to be executed in two months.
He said upon the payment of the 50 percent, the contractor is expected to drive the project to 80percent completion before the final payment will be made.
He said the road to the Onne Sea Port is critical to the effective use of the port by investors across the country, hence the need to put it in proper condition.
Governor Wike explained that because of the importance of the road, it cannot be left to the dictates of official bureaucracy, necessitating the initiative to assemble all stakeholders to commit to the reconstruction of the portion that has degraded badly.
He added that under the current arrangement, the existing contractor will still be used to complete the portion of the road to avoid legal complications.
“This initiative is aimed at ending the loss of man hours on this very critical road to the sea port and also make this port viable to the economy of Rivers State and Nigeria.
“We resolved not to allow beaurucratic bottlenecks affect the repairs of the road, hence we are partnering with key stakeholders of the Port and the Federal Ministry of Works and that of Niger Delta to complete the relevant portion. We expect that by December, this road would have been completed to reduce travel time to 40 minutes”, Governor Wike stated.
The companies that expressed their commitment to work with the state government to reconstruct the critical portion of the road include, Intels Logistics Services, Indorama Limited, West African Container Terminal and Port Harcourt Refinery Company. Others are: the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Free Trade Zone while the Federal Government was represented by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta and the Federal Ministry of Works.
In his remarks, Chairman of Intels Logistics Services, Mr. Gabriele Volpi assured that his company is committed to the completion of the road. He said that his staff lose valuable man hours because of the poor condition of the road.
Mr Patrick Baird of the West African Container Terminal applauded the initiative of the state governor, saying that his company alongside other stakeholders have keyed into it.
Also speaking, Representative of Nigeria Ports Authority, Ahmed Mohammed commended the governor for the initiative. He said the NPA would work with the Rivers State Government to actualise the project.
The Controller of Federal Ministry of Works in Rivers State, Mr N. Nebolisa noted that the initiative to reconstruct the road to the Onne Sea Port was a step in the right direction, as previous efforts by the Federal Government had been hampered by funding. The representative of the Ministry of Niger Delta also described the initiative as a welcome development.
The meeting which is the second in the series was also attended by leaders of the host community. A technical session which fine tuned the details of the involvement of all parties was held behind closed doors.
Picture 1: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the chairman of Intels Logistics Services, Mr Gabriele Volpi during his meeting with major stakeholders on the road project to Onne Sea Port on Saturday
July 11, 2015.
Government House, Port Harcourt.