Tony John, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Executive Council (SEC) has approved contract for the construction of a road to link Woji-Aleto-Alesa to the Port Harcourt refinery.

The road project, which will cost N9,599,394,700.25, was approved yesterday, during the SEC meeting presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt.

Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, announced this while briefing journalists at the end of the meeting.

He said the road project would be executed by  Rafoul Nigeria Limited.

Nsirim said the approval was in recognition of the infrastructural blue print of the Rivers State government and its urban renewal programme.

According to the commissioner, the project would reduce the traffic usually experienced at the Akpajo Junction on the East West Road, ease travel time and create employment for Rivers indigenes.

“This project will enhance municipality expansion as it will open the state to a vast expanse of land that can be used for industrial and estate developments in the near future.

“There will be an arithmetic increase in the ground rent revenue and taxes in the area in the near future.

“The road will also open a corridor which will lead to the Onne Port, Indorama as well as the Port Harcourt refinery and have a far-reaching strategic advantage in the short, medium and long term.

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“Hundreds of Rivers State indigenes will be engaged and employed throughout the duration of the project.

“It will reduce the traffic build up usually experienced at the Akpajo junction on the East West road and travel time to Khana, Gokana, Tai, Okrika and Ogu/Bolo local government areas will be shorter,” he said.

Nsirim said the project approval was another demonstration of the people-oriented and visionary leadership of the Wike administration.

He said already the government has carved a niche for itself in terms of infrastructure, emphasising that the Woji-Aleto-Alesa to the Port Harcourt Refinery Road project is another landmark project.

Also, Special Adviser to the governor on Special Projects, Dax George Kelly, said the road would be of immense socio-economic value to the state.

He said the 6.5 kilometre road would start about 400 metres from the Woji Bridge and will have 200 meters of high span bridge across the creek and terminate at the refinery.

“The road will start about 400 meters from the existing Woji bridge and then 200 metres of high span bridge across the creek and move into the virgin forest  up to Aleto in Alesa community Eleme council to terminate at the refinery.

“The road is 6.5 kilometres long and is a dual carriage. It will have asphaltic pavement concrete covering about 13 kilometers and the total width is about 20 metres, median inclusive.

“Both sides of the road will also have walkways of 1.5 meters each and drains of 1.2  by 0.5 meters spanning across the entire length of the road,” he said.