… As Gov Diri Lauds NDDC, SPDC, Others.. Calls for more Collaboration on Landmark Projects

Bight Newspaper reports that Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has described as unfair, deliberate efforts being made in some quarters to undermine the significant contributions of the state government towards the completion of the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road project.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Ogbia-Nembe Road at Emakalakala in the Ogbia LGA of the state, at the weekend, Governor Diri stressed that no story about the project would be complete without a mention of the role the state government played.

The Bayelsa Chief Executive who was represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, pointed out that it was needful to correct the wrong impression that the state government did not contribute to the execution of the road project.

According to him, the Bayelsa State Government under former Governor Seriake Dickson disbursed N3 billion to the contractor, Setraco, in 2013 to restart the NDDC/Shell joint venture project after it was stalled for about six years due to funding challenges.

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His words: “As an eye and ear witness to this Ogbia-Nembe Road project, I believe there are some wrong impressions being deliberately or erroneously created and projected.

“But I stand in the gap today as an intercessor for the Bayelsa State Government to correct those erroneous impressions.

“First, there is no doubt that it was a partnership between NDDC, Shell, NNPC and its partners. This project was stalled in 2007 and it remained so until 2013 when Senator Dickson became the Governor of this state.

“As the then Commissioner for Works, we called the contractor (Setraco) for a meeting and asked them why they were not at site. They told us they had three reasons for not being on site.

“One, the uncooperative attitude of the communities over compensation issues. Two, insecurity that was a major issue then in the Niger Delta. And three, lack of funds….

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“The Bayelsa Government therefore donated N3billion as at that time to restart the project. It was that restarting that contributed to the completion of this project. But that is not being told here.

“For fairness and true representation, let us reframe the story that Bayelsa State Government also contributed to the execution and completion of this project.”

Governor Diri, however, commended the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and their development partners for delivering on the project to open up the state.

He called on the NDDC, Shell and other well-meaning corporate giants to collaborate with his administration in completing the ongoing Akaba-Okodi Road, Nembe-Brass Road, Ekeremor-Agge Road, and the Opume-Okoroba Road among others.

He said: “I also want to thank NDDC, Shell, NNPC and their partners for the completion of the project and also call for a continuous relationship between them and the Bayelsa State Government.

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“There are still landmark projects on our ticket. We are therefore open for partnership on the Akaba-Okodi Road, the Nembe-Brass Road, the Ekeremor-Agge Road, Opume-Okoroba Road and the Otuasega-Oluasiri Road.”

Also speaking, the former Governor and senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, said he was delighted to witness the inauguration of the project his administration supported to open up the eastern part of the state.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, described the completion of the project as a significant milestone particularly for the Ogbia and Nembe people, while calling on all stakeholders to cooperate with the Commission in its efforts to develop the Niger Delta region.

 

Other pictures from the event;

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