By Robinson Sibe
The Bodo-Bonny Road was awarded by the Obasanjo administration for N20 Billion, in 2002. 13 years later, following unsatisfactory performance of the contractor, the lack of sustainable funding, and inflation, this award was terminated and a new award was approved at the twilight of the Jonathan administration for N120 Billion. Kindly note the effects of the beast called inflation; a project awarded for N20 Billion, and up N120 Billion, 13 years after. This is the price a have to pay for failing to complete the project on schedule.
Looking at the figures, both the original and the revised, one wonders why successive administrations in Rivers State did not take up this project and complete it, given its strategic importance. There were times when the state government spent billions on federal roads I consider less strategic. Specifically, the the Amaechi administration spent same N120 Billion on a federal road (leading to Owerri, and branching off to his community) I consider less strategic in terms on economic derivatives for the generality of Rivers State.
This was an opportunity lost. Imagine being credited with such a legacy project as a Governor.
I am from Bodo City, a host to this project. This road will stimulate economic activities around that axis. I’m quite thankful to NLNG for this; my hope of completion is directly hinged on them, given FG’s reputation for poor performance in capital implementation .
We hope the federal government can accept the creative suggestions given for the sustainable funding of this project, just like the kind of deal Fashola struck with Dangote for the Apapa Wharf, in his home state.
I welcome the Vice President as he flags off the project today. We are cautiously optimistic for now; we are looking forward to upgrading this to d blown optimism if they perform.