East-West Road: FG To Reappraise Cost, Design Of Section V | Independent Newspapers Limited
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East-West Road: FG To Reappraise Cost, Design Of Section V

East-WestRoadPost
Posted: Apr 13, 2016 at 5:00 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Chukwudi Nweje

Lagos

The Federal Government will review the design of Section V of the East-West Road Project to minimise destruction of the cultural heritage of the people as well as align cost efficiency.

The contract for the construction of the East-West Road, first awarded in 2006 was initially divided into four sections, but later increased to five sections in 2014 to cover Oron to Calabar in Cross River State. The road had posed a serious challenge since it was awarded.

Pastor Usani Uguru Usan, the Minister for the Niger Delta Affairs, who announced the review in Abuja on Tuesday, noted that the Federal Government directed a team of experts, comprising experts in the ministry, the project consultants, representatives of Akwa Ibom and Cross River state governments to conduct a critical analysis of the design of Section V of the road project, covering Oron to Calabar, before commencing work on it.

The team expected to conclude the analysis within three weeks is also expected to analyse existing design of the 23km Section V portion of the road and to consider alternative designs for alignment for cost efficiency.

Usani said that the Federal Government ordered the experts to ensure completion of the analysis before the commencement of work on the road with a view to minimise destruction of the cultural heritage of the people.

“There was divergence of opinion as regards the present road design of Section V of the East West Road, Oron to Calabar.

“The ministry could not afford any further delay in delivering the project to the end-users given its inherent benefits to the people.

“My interest is the success of this administration in projects delivery,” Usani said.

He added that the Federal Government is committed to carrying the people along in project execution in the Niger Delta region.

The minister said that the ministry would try hard to look at all possible options and choose the cost effective ones in executing the project to a logical conclusion within the current constraints of cash flow.

Independent recalls that the East-West road originally started by the Federal Ministry of Works was later handed over to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Due to the importance of the road, in addition to budgetary provisions and funds from African Development Bank (AfDB), the Federal Government facilitated an additional loan from the China Exim-Bank.

In January this year, the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to give priority to the completion of the road project as “it will be a significant achievement for this administration if the project is completed. The project will go a long way in assuring the region that this government.”