Orhionmwon – Following the difficulty being faced in accessing the uncompleted section of the Obozugbe-Ugboko-Numagbae-Iguododo-Obagie-Noheze road project, in Orhionmwon local government area of Edo state, inhabitants of the area have called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete the project, to save them from further hardship.
The inhabitants who are predominantly farmers, lamented that, the call became necessary, as the community was on the verge of being cut off from the state capital, through the Benin-Agbor road axis, at Abudu, administrative headquarters of the council.
A youth activist in the area, Ogban Mark told The Nigerian Observer that, a journey which ought to take minutes, now take hours, as the alternative route, which is the Old Benin Abraka road, was also in “a worse shape”.
It was however learnt, there is no means of public transportation from the uncompleted section at Obagie-Noheze community, to other parts of the state.
“We are farmers, palm oil millers, we produce different food crops, and most of the things we produce from our farms get spoilt, because no road to market. we seriously need help”, Obagie-Noheze community secretary, Mr Okoh Sunday said
The Obozugbe-Ugboko-Numagbae-Iguododo-Obagie-Noheze road project spanning 22.7Km was awarded in December of 2009 by the commission, to Caesar Engineering And Construction Limited in December 2009.
By 2011, the company completed the construction of 19Km, leaving 3.7Km, which it said was “Phase II”, at Obagie-Noheze community.
According to the company’s general manager, Engr Sam Ozomoge, the project was uncompleted due to lack of funds from the commission.
“they have not mobilized us cash, but in terms of awarding, it has been awarded to us.
“Once we get cash from other jobs, we can do the road, then be waiting for our payment from NDDC”, Ozomoge said, via a telephone interview
When our correspondent visited the NDDC office in Benin city yesterday, to verify the claims by the company, no official was on ground, as it was learnt they were away in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital for a meeting.
Recall the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio recently frowned at the scorecard of the NDDC, adding there are about 12,000 abandoned projects across the nine states of the Niger Delta.
Meanwhile, it was observed that, the communities connected by the project lack access to clean drinking water, despite the mini reservoirs sited in the area by the commission.
The reservoirs which are either not functional, or abandoned, have forced primary health centres (PHCs) as well as the rural dwellers to rely on rain, streams, and private bore hole, for water.
A development, the local government chairman, Hon Silvester Okoro told The Nigerian Observer the council would “look into as soon as possible”.