From Tony John, Ibadan
The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the construction of the Trans-Kalabari and Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono road projects at the cost of N27.6 billion.
Briefing journalists at the Government House, Port Harcourt after the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike, yesterday, Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the Trans-Kalabari road would be 13.599 kilometres long and would be executed by Lubrick Construction Company.
He explained that the road will connect several communities including Krakama, Omekwe-ama, Angula-ama, Mina-ama and some other communities in the Kalabari area of the State.
He explained: “The project will cost N13.6billion and will have 14 months duration, financed by irrevocable standing payment order drawn against the State Internal Revenue, meaning that every month, the contractor will be paid N1 billon and there will be no delays.
“This will guarantee the project is not stalled and completed within the time frame stipulated and agreed with the State government. This I believe will be useful to the people in the area and ease their transport.”
These two major road projects are expected to be completed within the next 14 months.
Tasie-Amadi also disclosed that the Council approved the construction of the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono phase 2 road project which starts from Bori to Kono.
He stated: “It is a 17 kilometer road and the cost of the project is N14 billion. Construction time is 14 months. Payment will also be secured by an irrevocable payment standing order of N1 billion monthly drawn against the State Internal Revenue.”
The commissioner said the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono contract would be executed by the same the company that executed the phase 1 of the road, Chinese Civil and Engineering Construction Corporation.
He stated that the reason the cost of the Trans-Kalabari road, which is 13 kilometers long and 9.3 meters wide, is almost the same as that of Bori-Kono 17.1 kilometers and 24 meters wide road with street light, is because the terrains are different.
“You see the cost of building in the riverine area is nothing less than twice the cost of building on solid soil. So, the government is going through huge trouble to see that these roads are built. People will wonder why the cost are like that, the terrain determines the cost. So, it (Trans-Kalabari road ) is far more expensive to build.”
Commissioner of Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the award of the Trans-Kalabari road by the Governor Wike’s administration was historic.
Nsirim explained that previous government had awarded the Trans-Kalabari road to indigenes of the area who later abandoned the project for inexplicable reasons.
He said the Wike’s administration was not only desirous that the project kicks off, but that it is completed as scheduled.
“With the kind of payment plan, this project will not be abandoned, but completed,” Nsirim said. He said the two major roads, which located outside the city centre were further testimony that Governor Wike has remained steadfast in spreading development to the nooks and crannies of the state.