ASABA/Nigeria: The Delta State PDP has dismissed insinuation by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC in the State, that the decision by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to construct and rehabilitate 70 roads across the three Senatorial zones in the State was panicky and political, describing the comments of the APC as laughable and reflective of a party that has nothing else to say, except to criticize government initiatives which are aimed at making life better for Deltans.
This dismissal was contained in a Press Statement issued and signed by the Delta State PDP Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, who also confirmed that the Okowa administration had already delivered over 317 roads across Delta State since 2015 and the 70 now pencilled down for construction and rehabilitation are those either inherited from the former administration or those on which work is ongoing, which was stalled with the advent of the rainy season, now needed to be accelerated with the dry season which has arrived.
Dr. Osuoza said “If there is one area that the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has made tremendous impact in Delta State, it is the provision of road infrastructure.
“One of the critical development issues that require a more robust and alternative approach to address and resolve successfully in Delta State, is the provision of qualitative and durable roads infrastructure, especially in the major cities in the State.
“Coupled with this is also the fact that, with rapid urbanization, micro commercialization and increasing populations which have opened up the rural hinterlands of many of the local government areas in the State, the need for good, motorable, interconnecting roads network, linking the various communities in such areas, have become quite imperative for any progressive leader, whose desires is to bring democracy dividends closer to the people.
“Governor Okowa, operating with the clear guidelines set down in the SMART Agenda, set about the resolution of the road infrastructure debacle by attacking it with crusading zeal and robust momentum ensuring that a well articulated plan of action, from financing to construction and delivery was embraced, with the ultimate objective of putting down solid infrastructure in line with professional best practices and enduring standards.
” It is on record that the Governor Okowa administration has constructed and/or rehabilitated over 317 roads across the State since 2015, as the Governor himself announced during the presentation of the 2019 budget to the Delta State House of Assembly in October.
“According to His Excellency Governor Okowa during his 2018 Budget presentation to the Delta State House of Assembly, ‘Our road projects portfolio since May 2015, is 317 projects comprising 1,000km of roads and 344km of drains valued at over =N=243BN. Out of this number,135 projects covering 405km of roads and 159km of drainage channels (alongside roads) have been completed.
‘Worthy of mention are the roads that have been embarked upon in riverine communities with their difficult terrain. In particular, I will like to cite the Main Axial Road and Okerenkoko Township roads in Warri South West Local Government Area as some of the flagship projects of this administration.
‘There is also the on-going rehabilitation and Asphalt Overlay of the 19.7km Obutobo 1 –Obutobo11 – Sokebolou – Yokori road in Burutu Local Government Area. These projects have excited the residents of these communities and underscored our resolve to break new frontiers and bring development to every part of the State no matter how remote.”
‘Some of the major road projects that readily come to mind are the 10.8km km Okpare-Umolo-Ovwodokpor-Kiagbodo road in Ughelli South and Burutu LGAs, Jeddo-Ughoton road in Okpe LGA and Construction of Access road to Eagle Heights University, Oteri Township road in Ughelli North LGA and Okpe-Olomu/Otor-OrereOlomu road Ughelli South LGA. There are others such as the expansion and rehabilitation of sections of Oghara Junction to Otefe Road in Ethiope West LGA Oghara, access road to Jesse town, access road to Ugbuwangue new layout, construction of Okuomowa road to Osubi to link Efekpo lane, the construction of Ekete main road, off DSC Expressway, the rehabilitation ofEkreravwe/Orhoakpor/Isiokolo Road in Ethiope East LGA, Abraka Township Roads Phase 1, and the reconstructed 8.5km Ughelli-Afiesere-Ofuoma road in Ughelli North LGA.
“In Asaba, roads like the Cable Point Dual Carriageway and several township roads have given the State capital a befitting face lift. Residents now have alternative routes as against the usual hiccups that characterised the main access road, the Nnebisi road.
“The recently commissioned Kwale-Ogume- Obiaruku and Ozoro-Oleh roads have greatly enhanced the economic activities of the people of those areas. High transportation fares coupled with excruciating pains of having to ply deplorable roads are becoming a thing of the past.
“To complement Okowa’s commitment to this sector, the Delta State House of Assembly has been alive to it’s responsibilities, by ensuring prompt approval of budgetary estimates to infrastructure, since the administration came on board in 2015. This trend was continued in the 2019 budget proposals presented by Governor Okowa to the Delta State House of Assembly on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, where Road and rural infrastructure took the lion share of =N=79.6B out of the proposed N367,095,083,451/=.
“It is obvious from the above therefore, that the recent decision by the Governor Okowa administration giving approval for construction and rehabilitation of the 70 roads across the three senatorial zones in the State, is the result of a well surveyed feasibility report, which conforms with the pattern already established in the very successful delivery of roads infrastructure in the State, in the last three and half years.
“That is why the reaction and insinuation of the All Progressives Congress that the decision is panicky and politically motivated is not only laughable, but also reflective of the uncoordinated nature of the opposition party, which believes that road infrastructure is something that a government can just wake up overnight and embark on without proper evaluation and proper assessment.
“Even the die-hard critics of his administration cannot but acknowledge Governor Okowa’s efforts in ensuring that roads in the State are receiving the desired attention they deserve and it was little wonder therefore that even former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is usually miserly with praise was compelled to gush with appreciation after seeing the impressive work on road infrastructure in Delta State and to join the chorus of those who have nicknamed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as “the road master'”.
“The APC knows that it really has nothing to hold against Governor Okowa which is why they are always quick to criticize any development initiative which the government has been rolling out in droves, in all the sectors of the economy. They are simply confused and disorganized by the fact that Ekwueme is successfully addressing all the issues they would have used to campaign and delivering on the dividends of democracy across the three senatorial zones in Delta State. The fear within the lawless and factionalized Delta APC now is that they may have nothing else to talk about in their campaign, except to feed Deltans with lies and unfounded propaganda, by the time the elections come.