Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the quantum of civil construction work undertaken by his administration in developing the State might be cost intensive, but the overall benefits remain a driving force.
Governor Wike made the statement while inspecting some ongoing projects in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State on Wednesday.
Projects inspected included the 11th flyover site at Location Junction along Mgbuoba – NTA Road, the site for the 12th flyover at Rumuokwuta roundabout, the dualisation of Azikiwe Street -Illoabuchi road and the sand-filled land in Ogbunuabali Town.
Governor Wike explained that the inspection became necessary in order to ascertain the impact the projects would have on the socioeconomic life of the residents within the areas.
“One of the reasons we came is to see the impact of the roads and the flyovers. Of course, when the valuers brought the compensation report, we felt that it was too huge. So, we decided to go and see things for ourselves.
“But, when we got there, we understood that a lot of buildings will be impacted and that requires us to compensate the owners of those houses heavily. But, it is worth it in order to give Port Harcourt the facelift required and to transform the landscape of the area.”
Governor Wike said despite the attendant cost implication of undertaking the projects, his administration had paid 80 percents for the road dualisation to the contractor, Julius Berger, which is also handling the two new flyovers.
“We have been able to fulfil our part to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. This place now (Illoabuchi Road), we have paid 80 percent for the dualization of Azikiwe Street/Ilaobuchi Road as at yesterday.
“By Monday, we want to start paying for the compensation to owners of the buildings so that Julius Berger can start demolishing the affected structures.”
The Rivers State governor appealed to the residents in the areas, particularly in Mile 2 Diobu, Port Harcourt, to show understanding and endure the inconvenience they would suffer while the work lasted.
Governor Wike expressed delight in the show of excitement by the people who throng out to meet him.
According to the governor, the various projects would create employment for a good number of youths within the areas.
“All we seek from them is the normal support they have been giving. We are happy with what we are doing. All we pray is that the residents of these areas should bear with us.
“It’s a short time of inconvenience, but at the end of the day, it is going to be to the benefit of those who are having economic activities in this area.
“In the next six months, you can imagine what will happen here. I think we made a promise to them, and like I’ve always said, every promise made will be fulfilled.”
Speaking further, governor Wike informed that the next round of project inauguration would commence on August 8, 2022, and last for two weeks.
“From Monday, the 8th August, the Orochiri -Worukwo flyover (Waterline Junction) will be commissioned by the governor of Lagos State, while the Ogbum-Nu-Abali/Eastern Bye-Pass Road will be commissioned on the 9th August by the former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.
Governor Wike enjoined all well meaning Rivers people to join with the government to thank God Almighty for what has been accomplished within the tenure.
He said the capacity of his administration in inaugurating more projects while also embarking on new projects is something that has never been witnessed.
“And I think you can’t hear anything happening in most of the States. But, for us, we will end our services to the people on the 29th of May, 2023.
“Like I said, no project will be left abandoned and that is why we have taken priority to make sure that the finances are there to back up these projects. If we don’t have the money, there is no need of awarding contracts.”
On his part, the Regional Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Juergen Fischer, promised that his company would do all within its powers to deliver the projects as agreed.