The Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) to undertake immediate intervention on the damaged Aleto Bridge at KM 6+500 on the East-West road Section III(A) by Eleme, Onne Junction to alleviate the plight of motorists and reduce the sufferings of the people.
The Minister made this statement during an emergency meeting held with contractors handling the various sections of the East-West road in his office in Abuja.
Senator Akpabio assured the people of the Niger Delta region that remedial solution would be provided within the next 48 hours to assist the people to move freely and other concerns raised will be addressed to fast track the completion of the road as scheduled.
According to the Minister, “the construction of the road which started in 2006 was abandoned for about six years due to human and natural challenges, but since my resumption, in office in 2019 the present administration which is the problem-solving government has mobilized resources to ensure that the East-West road is completed and commissioned by 2022.”
Speaking further, Senator Akpabio noted that various sections of the road which have been in limbo over the years have attained various levels of completion and would be due for commissioning by Mr President soon, affirming, that issue of compensation would be addressed in no time.
He noted that the Ministry had also undertaken the construction of other roads which include Okpuala Igwurunta road Phase 1 in Imo State, Ndemili road in Delta State, Umueze road in Rivers State and Otuo Afuze road in Edo State that have been completed and ready for commissioning.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Babayo Ardo reaffirmed that the Ministry has been working on the East-West road for the past 2 years and all efforts have been geared towards the completion and commissioning of the road before the end of the first quarter of 2022 as directed by the President.
The Managing Director, RCC Nigeria Limited, Engineer Nader Yusuf in his remarks, stated that there are insinuations that sand mining around the river bank affected the foundation of the Aleto Bridge.
He explained that the Engineers are expected to ascertain the real cause of the damage and carry out concrete repairs to aid the free flow of traffic on the affected portions of the road.
Engr. Yusuf however, assured the Minister that Engineers would move to the site immediately to make the road motorable for road users.