By Dennis Otu
Warri, the once thriving oil-rich city in Delta State, has been plagued by neglect and disorganization in recent years. The departure of multinational companies left the city in a state of decay, with its young population struggling with homelessness and unemployment. However, hope is on the horizon as the new Governor of Delta State, Rt Hon.Sheriff Oborevwori, has promised to rejuvenate Warri. And he is making good on his word.
On October 18th, 2023, history was made as the Delta State Government and German construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, signed a N78 billion contract for the construction of flyovers, cloverleaf, and road expansion projects in Effurun and Warri metropolis. This partnership marks the first time Julius Berger will be involved in the development of Warri, and it is expected to bring about a much-needed facelift for the neglected city.
The contracts include the expansion of a section of DSC/NPA Expressway, the construction of a Cloverleaf Interchange at the existing Effurun flyover, and the addition of pedestrian bridges. Flyover bridges will also be built at Enerhen junction, Marine Gate, DSC roundabout, and PTI junction. The signing ceremony took place at the Government House in Asaba, with representatives from both the State Government and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in attendance.
The Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who has witnessed the rise and fall of Warri, expressed his excitement about the signing ceremony, stating that it represents a major step forward in his administration’s plan to revolutionize the city’s infrastructure.
He commended the efforts of everyone involved in the planning and negotiation process, emphasizing the significance of engaging Julius Berger for the first time in construction projects in Delta State.
The Governor also highlighted the importance of choosing Julius Berger based on their excellent track record and experience in road construction in challenging terrains.
He urged the contractor to complete the projects within 27 months, emphasizing the positive impact they will have on easing traffic congestion and improving the lives of commuters.
Furthermore, the construction projects are expected to create employment opportunities for engineers, artisans, and others in the construction value chain.
Dr. Lars Richter, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, expressed gratitude to the Delta State Government for entrusting them with these projects. He praised Governor Oborevwori for his vision and foresight in investing in the development of Warri, and he looks forward to a successful partnership that will benefit the people of Delta State.
With the signing of these contracts, Warri is on the path to reclaiming its former glory. The people of Delta State can expect more landmark projects in the future as Governor Oborevwori’s administration strives to improve the lives of its citizens. The commencement of this new era marks a turning point for Warri and its residents, bringing hope and a brighter future for the once-disillusioned city. And the people will rejoice again, I dare say.
DENNIS OTU IS SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT (NEW MEDIA) TO THE DELTA STATE GOVERNOR