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Senate investigates non-completion of East-West road since 2006



The Senate has constituted an ad-hoc committee to investigate the back-to-back failure of every attempt of governments to complete the East-West road since 2006.

Senate resolution followed the adoption of a motion on”Urgent Need for Construction of Onne, Eleme communities Axis of the East-West road at plenary on Tuesday.

The motion was sponsored by  Sen. Mpigi Barinada (PDP-Rivers).

Barinada, earlier in his lead debate said the decision of government to seek alternative sources for funding critical national projects increased the stock of infrastructure.

This, he said, was to grow the nation, through initiatives such as private sector partnership, SUKUK funds and the NNPCL Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

He said the 7km stretch of the Federal Government trunk A road , a major economic artery in the Niger-Delta region which traverses the Eleme -Ogoni corridor and also connects the South–South, South -East and Western parts of this country, remains moribund.

Barinada said despite spending huge fund on the project, such critical national project, if abandoned would bring untold hardship, neglect and exacerbate sufferings and pain on the people.

He said there was need to consider the attendant loss of revenue that would have accrued to the government given the abandonment of the project.

He said there was presence of critical infrastructure and industries located along the road corridor which include two refineries, two petrochemical industries, an Oil and Gas Economic Free Zone, a Deep-Sea Port NPA and many other businesses and industries, that contribute huge sums of needed revenue for the nation.

According to him, consideration should be given to the detrimental effect of the abandoned road on the social and economic experience that has affected the well -being of the affected communities and potential risks posed to human lives and local economy.

Senate thereafter in its further resolution said the ad-hoc committee would be inviting the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Works and Housing, Niger -Delta Affairs, Petroleum Resources and Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Others are the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, the Managing Director of RCC Construction Company and any other relevant stakeholder, to present detailed information on reasons for prolonged delays and abandonment of the project.

Other information to be provided include the current status of the contract and progress made thus far, challenges faced by the contractor in executing the project to avoid future delays.

They are also expected to provide information on measures to address the socio-economic impact of the abandoned road on the affected communities, plans, timelines, and strategies to ensure completion of the project within a reasonable timeframe.

It also said the stakeholders thereafter would ensure the prioritisation of the East-West road project and allocation of necessary resources and support to enable its speedy completion.

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