The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has started emergency repairs on some of the failed portions of the East West Road, especially the dilapidated sections between Eleme Junction and the Onne Junction. The NDDC Executive Director Projects Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, who inspected the on-going repairs on the road on Friday, was met at various points by excited road users who were visibly happy with what the interventionist agency was doing to ameliorate their sufferings.
Similar interventions by the NDDC on the Calabar-Itu Road and the Calabar-Ikom Road last year were the saving grace for Cross River State, which was virtually cut off from the rest of the country.
Engr. Adjogbe said that the emergency intervention was a follow-up to the commitment made recently by the Commission to save the road from total collapse. He recalled that the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, had assured the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, who visited the Commission on June 16, 2017, that contractors would be mobilised to site immediately to carry out the emergency repairs.
The Executive Director said that the emergency repairs was the only remedy to what he described as a critical situation, adding that the intervention was necessary to save the very busy and important road artery in the Niger Delta.
Engr. Adjogbe said that the NDDC had to embark on the urgent repairs to arrest the deterioration of the road and reduce the pains of motorists commuting to Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. He said he was hopeful that the emergency repairs would be completed within 30 days.
He expressed satisfaction with the performance of the contractor, adding; “We want to encourage local contractors to continue to improve on their capacity to deliver quality projects for the benefit of the people. This is very important to the NDDC and I am pleased that people in this area are happy with what the contractor is doing here.”
The Site Engineer for the construction firm, Mr Celestine Egbe, said that because of the nature of the soil in the area, they were excavating several metres of unsuitable materials before filling back with sharp sand. He noted that they had made substantial progress since they mobilised equipment to site one week ago.
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Some motorists who were interviewed, were happy with what they had seen so far and appealed to the NDDC not to relent until the job was fully done. For Mr. Marcus Wisdom, a bus driver, “the NDDC has saved us from the nightmare that we used to go through on this road. In fact, motorists using this road are very happy with the commission. It used to take travellers about four hours to commute from Eleme Junction to Refinery, a journey that should normally take 20 minutes,” he said.
Mr. Christopher Godwin stated that, “drivers that dared to use the road before now ended up in mechanic workshops. We are very happy with NDDC for what they have done in the last few days,” he said.
Mr. Ogbonna Chukwudi, a Welder, was full of praises for the NDDC for “coming to the rescue of road users.” According to him, a few weeks ago, the road between Eleme Junction and Refinery Junction was virtually impassable.
It could be recalled that the NDDC, recently told the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs that it would take over N70 billion to complete the construction of the East-West Road which straddles the six South-South States