The Rivers State Executive Council on Wednesday gave approval to the State Government to spend N6.7 billion for the reconstruction of the 5km-long Okania-Ogbogoro Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

The approval was given at the Council’s 7th meeting, presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, with the Deputy Governor, Prof Ngozi Odu, and other members of the cabinet in attendance.

The meeting, the second this year, held at the Executive Chambers of Government House in Port Harcourt.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Mr. Atemea Briggs, said that the road stretches from Okania through Ogbogoro to Ozuoba.

Briggs noted that road contract was initially awarded to Nugi Nigeria Limited on the April 12, 2017, but was abandoned after preliminary works, adding that with the abandonment, the road collapsed, making it completely impassible, thereby constituting a major traffic challenge to motorists, especially now that work have intensified on the Port Harcourt Ring Road that traverses part of Ozuoba.

“The proposed Okania-Ogbogoro Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area is about five kilometres in length. It is connecting Okania to the major Ogbogoro-Ozuoba Road. Presently, the state of the road is completely impassible; and it is filled with water,” Briggs said.

“The project was previously awarded to Nugi Nigeria Limited on April 12, 2017, and partial work was done up until 2020 when the contractor abandoned the project. From that time, until now, due to the neglect, the major sections of the road, including the internal community roads have all collapsed.

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“But presently, due to the outcry of the people around the area and commuters as a result of the ongoing construction of Port Harcourt Ring Road, the road is considered for reconstruction.

“The Council has approved a total sum of N6,734,865,277.88 kobo only for the road contract award. The period of the construction is expected to last only five months,” he said.

Briefing journalists, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, said Council approved that the former contract with Nugi Nigeria Limited be terminated and the project re-awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Johnson said that a 40 percent mobilisation fees has been paid to the new contractor, CCECC, adding that the project will be funded entirely from savings in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.

He added that the State Government believes that it could fund virtually all of its projects with savings from Internally Generated Revenue without necessarily borrowing from financial institutions because of its prudent application of scarce resources and funds to deliver good governance to Rivers people.

The information commissioner also said that the State Government has begun the distilling and clearing of the Nta-Wogba Creek to check flooding in the Port Harcourt City centre, adding that the State Government will soon begin rehabilitation work on the failed sections of the Igwuruta-Chokocho Road to assuage the discomfort being experienced by the people in the area.

For her part, the Acting Director General, Bureau for Public Procurement, Mrs. Ine Briggs, said the agency considered the six applications received from the Ministry of Works that outlined the estimates for the project, and issued certificate of no objection after thorough due diligence was conducted on the applications.