By BARBARA KALU, Port-Harcourt –
The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh has commended the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC for expanding the scope of the Okrika-Borokiri Road with three bridges connecting several communities to Port Harcourt.
Speaking during a meeting with the Management and Staff of the NDDC at the headquarters of the Commission in Port Harcourt, Momoh noted that the NDDC should continue to deliver on viable projects. He applauded the Rivers State Government for showing interest in partnership with the Commission on the project.
The Minister said: “I am delighted to be at NDDC today. This is my first official visit outside Abuja and I am starting from the Rivers State capital. So far, we have inspected some projects being handled by NDDC, as well as the East-West Road, which I consider a big disappointment.
“What I saw was an eyesore. I will take the matter to Mr. President who is a listening leader.
“I am confident that he will listen to us and transfer the East West Road to the Ministry”, he was quoted as saying in a statement by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni.
Engr. Momoh noted that the change in the nomenclature of the Ministry of Niger Delta Development from its former name of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is a sign of a new focus in the drive for sustainable development of the Niger Delta region. He called for continuous support for the Federal Government to enable government achieve its goals of developing the Niger Delta region.
He congratulated Dr. Samuel Ogbuku for returning to the Board of the NDDC and remarked that in the past people had always felt that NDDC was not doing enough.
He stated: “Performance comes with good leadership and that should be supported by loyal staff. We expect that NDDC will key into the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.”
The Minister also visited the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, at the Government House, where he was received in audience in the company of the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku.
Governor Fubara assured the Minister that his government was open to partnership.
He said: “If the NDDC is committed, we are ready to partner with them on the Borikiri-Okrika Road project, because it will complete the Port Harcourt Ring Road which we flagged off recently.”
In his welcome remarks, the NDDC boss, expressed delight over the visit of the Minister to the Commission’s headquarter, as part of a two-day working tour of the Niger Delta region.
He pledged that the NDDC will continue to support the vision of the Ministry and the Federal Government in the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Ogbuku said: “We are happy to receive the Minister. NDDC will always cooperate with the Ministry, and we hope that the Ministry will also support us. I assure you that there will be no friction between the Ministry and the NDDC. The joint inspection today testifies to this new cordial working relationship.”
Earlier at the Okrika-Borokiri Bridge project in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Dr Ogbuku observed that it would provide a lot of benefits to the people, as it would connect several communities to the Rivers State capital.
He said that when completed, the road would reduce traffic congestion on the refinery axis of the East-West Road as well as reduce travel time from Okrika to Port Harcourt.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Development, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, also applauded the NDDC for executing the Borokiri-Okirika Road and Bridge project.