National News

Niger Delta: Akpabio secures N10.4 billion for construction of East-West road

Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has secured N10.4 billion for the completion of construction work on the East-West Road from the 2021 Sovereign Sukuk Issuance.

In his remarks before he was presented with the cheque by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja, Akpabio, who spoke through his Permanent Secretary, Dr Ardo Babayo, thanked his Finance counterpart for her support for the ministry and by extension, the Niger Delta Region.

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According to him, “let me acknowledge the support and effort of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the people of the region. The Eleme Junction to Onne, a 15-kilometre section of the East-West Road was abandoned because of lack of funds and that was why we went to Sukuk through the ministry.

“We also recall that during the 2021 budget presentation, it was agreed that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs will contribute the sum of N10 billion from its N19 billion for capital projects, with the understanding that the Ministry of Finance would add N35 billion and NIger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) N35 billion, making N80 billion for the completion and commissioning of that road by President Muhammadu Buhari this year 2022.

“Before now, the Niger Delta Ministry had mobilised the RCC for necessary repairs on the collapsed portion of the road as a stop gap measure, for easy vehicular and human movements. The Eleme Junction had to be redesigned to accommodate the Power Station that was not there when the road was contemplated in 2006,” he said.

Speaking further, the minister said: “We are here today to collect the N10 billion of that money from the Ministry of Finance, we are also waiting for the balance of N25 billion, while the NDDC would remit its own support when its finance improves.

“Sometimes in October last year, there was a Presidential directive that we transfer the road to the Ministry of Works and the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, has commenced talks with his Works counterpart in that regard. Let me also appreciate the efforts of the Debt Management Office (DMO). We hope that the outstanding sum of N65bn would be released in due course.”

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