President Goodluck Jonathan said former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) BOT chairman; Tony Anenih should be blamed for continued neglect of the Bodo- Bonny road project in Rivers State.
According to him, if the project which was first awarded 11 years ago under Obasanjo’s tenure before it was cancelled – was being executed 5km per year within the 8 years of that administration, the project would have been nearing completion by now.
Speaking when the elders and traditional rulers from Rivers State led by King of Bonny Kingdom, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple 111 paid him a visit at the presidential villa today, Jonathan assured that with the conclusion of reassessment of the project, the road will be re-awarded, adding that nothing will stop it until it is concluded this time around.
He said, “About the Bonny road project, if the previous governments had been doing it 5km a year, by now, we would have gone far. That was during former president Olusegun Obasanjo regime. That was when Chief Tony Anenih was minister of works. If we have been moving 5km a year from that time to now, by now we would have gone far.
“We will see how to work with the people of Bonny to improve on the development of the area. Definitely, you need more social amenities so that the people will have what it takes to live a normal life. On the Bonny road project, it is almost like the story of the East-West road that was awarded without proper planning. We will ask the management of the NDDC to see to it.
“I won’t want to bore you with details of the lapses in the first procurement of the Bodo Bonny road, why the contract didn’t hold was because there were major lapses. Is almost like the story of the East West Road that awarded without proper design and so with time it got stuck. We just had to come back and that is what happened to the Bodo Bonny Road, we are now going back to proper procurement, proper design, proper cost and this time God willing once we start we will not stop again.”
The president also assured that the Benin Link Road project which is an NDDC project would take off with the new management of NDDC, saying government must ensure the project is followed up “because Bonny needs this road.
He also assured that the federal housing estate in Bonny which was built through a public private partnership (PPP) programme but was stopped because of funds will kick off after the Supervising Minister of Housing, Mohammed Sada briefs him and the Vice President next week.
The President also disclosed that the Federal Polytechnic, Bonny will kick off in September having been included in the 2014 budget while the National Board for Technical Education (NBTC) is set to appoint the Rector, Registrar and other auxiliary staff for the institution.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation had told the President that the Bonny -Bodo Road Project has been neglected by successive administration since 1970′s and that it was valued at N24 billion in 2002.
He said project progressed satisfactorily in 2003 but was abandoned in 2006.
He said, “Completion of the project is imperative and highly solicited as a safety exit by road particularly in times of emergencies that is during gas explosions, because Bonny is totally surrounded by water.
“The Bonny Ring road was originally started by Oil Minerals Producing Area Development Commission, OMPADEC to link Bonny to all its satellite towns and villages but was suspended on dissolution of the agency.
“The NDDC re-awarded the contract to a contractor who mobilized to site. Regrettably, the project was abandoned. The ring road is also vital as an escape route. The ring road is the only project in Bonny Local Government Area which the NDDC has attempted to undertake since its inception.”
How long is President Jonathan going to be blaming his predecessors? At what point does he start accepting responsibility. Jonathan has been in the corridors of Nigeria executive offices since 2007 and has been president for a few years now. His inability to accept responsibility is a mark of a bad leader.