By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, Esq
Durable and high quality infrastructure projects are not only the best for our people and the state, but also known to be an integral part of good governance, especially roads that are built to last for decades.
During the first Republic, roads, bridges and flyovers were built to last for several years, but there has been a consistent paradigm shift across the country, wherein some roads do not last up to six months after commissioning.
The ugly trend which was allegedly traced to acute sharp practices by some senior government officials in collaboration with unscrupulous contractors has been frowned at by incumbent governor of Delta State, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori. He issued a stern warming to contractors never to cut corners. Jobs must be delivered according to specification, design and quality.
Therefore, any governor that knows his or her onions must of a necessity invest substantially in durable and quality infrastructure development projects that would facilitate socioeconomic transformation and meaningful growth; promote efficient and smooth road transportation of goods and services across the state, including riverine areas. Good road network also boost and promote the tourism sector.
While campaigning from Ward to Ward, and in all twenty five local government areas of Delta State, in the just concluded governorship election, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, assured the people that he would prioritize; Economic, Infrastructure and Human Capital Development, as well as, Environmental Sustainability under his M.O.R.E agenda, conceived to keep Delta State ahead in all aspects of Social and Economic wellbeing.
And in less than five months in office, the governor has taken proactive steps to fulfil some of his electioneering campaigns promises encapsulated in the M.O.R.E socioeconomic blueprint, and more importantly, he’s doing so differently like never before by consistently emphasizing on high quality and durable infrastructure projects delivery across the three Senatorial Districts of Delta Central, Delta North and Delta South.
On Wednesday October 18, governor Oborevwori hosted top management staff of a renowned construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, and signed the much talked about Seventy Eight Billion Naira contract (N78billion), for the construction of flyovers, cloverleaf and road expansion projects in Effurun and Warri metropolis in Delta South and Delta Central Senatorial Districts of the State.
The contracts scope include road expansion of a section of DSC/NPA Expressway, including a Cloverleaf Interchange at the existing Effurun flyover, alongside two pedestrian bridges, flyover bridges at Enerhen junction to Marine Gate, DSC roundabout and PTI junction.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Kingsley Emu, and the Commissioner for Works (Highways and Urban Roads), Comrade Reuben Izeze, signed on behalf of the State Government, while the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, and the Regional Manager, Engr Friedrich Wieser, signed for the construction giant.
The Solicitor- General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr Omamuzo Erebe, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Engr Fred Edafioghor, witnessed the signing.
The projects which the contractor, Julius Berger Plc, must deliver within 27 months, has been described by public affairs analysts as a “bold statement in quality infrastructure development” by governor Oborevwori, who, during the signing ceremony of the multi-billion Naira contract, assured Deltans that his administration will stop at nothing to deliver landmark infrastructure projects that would place Delta ahead of other states in the country.
As rightly pointed out by the governor, this is the very first time the state government contracted Julius Berger Plc, to construct roads and flyovers in the region of N78billion. This is indeed, a significant milestone that must be applauded by well-meaning Deltans, civil society organisations and advocates for good governance across board. Of a truth, Oborevwori scored “first” by engaging Berger to deliver solid roads in the state.
At the recent contract signing ceremony in Asaba, governor Oborevwori has this to say: “the signing ceremony was a culmination of days and months of critical planning and deft negotiations; and a major step forward in my administration’s plan to start an infrastructural revolution that would change the face of Warri and environs.
“It is pertinent to know that this is the first time in Delta State that we are engaging Julius Berger Plc in construction jobs. They have been in Delta, they worked in NPA, but this is the first time the state government is engaging them for construction projects.”
The Governor explained that the choice of Julius Berger was informed, not only by their excellent track record, but also by their experience in road construction in riverine terrains, and tasked the contractor to deliver the projects within 27 months.
Upon completion, these roads expansion and flyovers projects will not only change the face of Warri, Efferun and its environs, but also ease the traffic congestion in the area, and at the same time alleviate the hardship faced by the commuters.
These projects will also create jobs for our people across board, skilled professionals and unskilled persons, because there will be direct employment benefits for engineers, artisans and even food vendors. Transporters and so many others in the construction value chain also stand to benefit.
It is therefore, safe to assert that a new era of high quality and durable infrastructure projects and multifaceted development in Delta State, has just begun, and expected to go round the three Senatorial Districts till May 29, 2031, by the grace of God.
Oborevwori’s good governance strides and performance promise is the very essence of “Ukodo” for all Deltans via the instrumentality of the M.O.R.E agenda of this administration.
There is no looking back and no procrastination as the excessive local content governor gradually and steadily implement his agenda, and achieve his mission to; run an open, responsive government that meets the needs and aspiration of all Deltans, through infrastructure development, growth in human capital and improved social harmony, in the state.