East/West Road: “Five Soldiers Guard One Foreign Worker” – Orubebe


The second session of the 2013 Ministerial Platform  – the mid-term report on the progress and achievement of President Jonathan Ebelemi Jonathan held at the national press center in Abuja today June 6, 2013 showcased mid-term presentations from the ministry of niger delta and the ministry of labor and productivity. Both ministries were represented by the respective ministers.

The minister of Niger Delta, Chief Orubebe presented the achievements and challenges of his ministry. He stated that his ministry had managed many crisis within the volatile region of the delta area. In his words “we have managed about 50 crisis since the formation of the ministry. Four skills acquisition center built to train youths in oil/gas activities. Seven hundred and one [701] youths [non-militants] have been trained.”

Honorable Minister of Niger Delta, Chief Orubebe presenting his ministry's report card
Honorable Minister of Niger Delta, Chief Orubebe presenting his ministry’s report card

The honorable minister also lamented over the obstacles faced by the East – West road presently under construction by the federal government. He noted that the road construction was first awarded by the Obasanjo administration in mid 2006 for the warping contract sum of N347billion – with a slated completion date of late 2009. Hon. Orubebe however revealed that out of the N347billion only N1.1billion was released by the Obasanjo administration. He also revealed that no design details were prepared for the road construction – he added that there were no financial plans put in place by the Obasanjo administration.

“Opon our arrival, we had to develop a new design and a financial plan for the project” stated the minister who also added that the road which cuts across the entire Niger Delta states – included over 1000 culverts and 42 bridges. “Now we have completed over 53% of the road project. We have completed 36 out of the 42 bridges, over 700 out of the over 1000 culverts have also been completed”. The minister injected also the that project was below 20% completed when it was handed over to the Niger Delta ministry.

The threat of kidnapping of foreign workers involved in the construction of the East/West road was highlighted by the Minister as posing a large weight on the execution of the project. In his words “kidnappings have been an issue in the development of the area. It takes five soldiers to guard one foreign worker”.

The minister noted that even with the obstacles in the area, he believes the East/West road with be completed and commissioned by the end of 2014.



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