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Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has claimed the state government took up construction of Kwale-Beneku Bridge because AGIP and other oil companies operating in the area failed in their corporate social responsibility.
The governor stated this in an interview with newsmen after inspecting the bridge project across Ase River linking Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East Local Government Areas of the state on Friday.
He assured the people of the area of his administration’s commitment to ensure that the project would be ready for use in February 2022.
He said that the bridge was of great significance to the government and its people, especially as the area contributed immensely to oil and gas production in Nigeria.
He said that for the critical position of the area to the oil industry, it was the expectation of the state government that oil companies operating in the area should have constructed the bridge over the years.
Okowa noted that the government, however, took the gauntlet to construct the bridge since the oil companies failed to do the needful.
According to him, the Kwale-Beneku Bridge is very significant because it’s going to open up the whole of the other side of the bridge.
Unfortunately, for many years, the oil companies have been using this pontoon here and I don’t think it ought to be so.
“I actually felt that the oil companies, particularly AGIP, should have before now constructed a bridge across this place but since they can’t do it, we cannot ignore our people across this place.“
“A lot of oil facilities are on this other side and there is need to open up access to the place from Ndokwa West to Ndokwa East LGAs because it’s quite important.
“I remember coming on campaign using the pontoon to cross; on one of the occasions when we were trying to cross, some of our people fell into the river and we cannot continue to allow such to happen because the people across matter a lot to us.
“They are part of the state and more so, they are part of the oil and gas producing communities in Nigeria,” Okowa said.
He added: “I believe that a lot of work has been done but we will follow through with them to ensure that they deliver the work on target.“I am glad that the water level at the peak of the rains has been taken care of with the height of the bridge during the construction,” he said.