From Aidoghie Paulinus And Chizzy Iwunamara, Abuja
In a bid to ensure prompt completion of the East-West Road and forestall the collapse of completed sections, the Federal Government has given marching orders to various contractors handling the project.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, who addressed contractors handling sections one to four of the road, in Abuja, yesterday, said the federal government is very concerned about the project.
Uguru however said government is mindful of accumulated outstanding bills of various contractors on different segments of the road, and added that it has been difficult meeting up with such financial commitments.
“On the side of government, for this year, being the second year budget, we are actually discerning, as an administration. Some funds have been directed to be injected into it while still sourcing other means for that particular project to be redeemed.
“The reason we have invited you is for you to understand the frame of government’s determination and also, to give you the conviction that if you believe us as a government and commit yourselves, I am sure, not just progress, but substantial progress of completion would be achieved on this East-West road.
“It is a project of concern for the entire country because whoever travels between the adjoining regions of the South-South at one point or another must make use of that road. And the state of degeneration of the sections or parts of the road that have so far been constructed, are beginning to collapse which is why it becomes more worrisome.
One of the respondents and Acting Managing Director of Setraco Nigeria Ltd, Dr Ray Chaudhuri, said the company is prepared to carry out the job on time, but, there is no money to carry out the work.
Chaudhuri further said any completed road project, if not properly maintained, would not last for the period is was meant to.
He added that it is the prerogative of local governments to maintain the road once the contractor is through with his work, including those living around the constructed areas since the project was meant for them.