Speaking after inspecting the major federal highway linking Imo and Abia states, the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, promised that more kilometres would be added to the project to connect several other communities.
The NDDC Chairman was accompanied on the inspection by the Commission’s Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr Samuel Adjogbe, FNSE; Imo State Representative on the NDDC Board, Hon Chuka Ama-Nwauwa, and other directors of the Commission.
Senator Ndoma-Egba expressed satisfaction with the quality of the remedial work on the 30-kilometre stretch between Okigwe and Akokwa. He said: “What I have seen meets our set standards in NDDC. I can say that Imo State is special to NDDC as an oil-producing state and we intend to give more attention to projects in the state.
He said that the NDDC, under the current board and management, was concerned about the quality of projects being delivered in every community in the Niger Delta, adding that the Commission was doing everything to ensure that its roads were of the highest possible quality.
According to the NDDC Chairman, “Imo State is an important member of the NDDC family and we have been looking at a number of projects not just for this part of the state but also for the oil-producing parts of the state, namely Oguta and Ohaji/Egbema area.”
He charged the benefitting communities to continue to support the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari by creating the enabling environment for projects to be executed. “This is necessary because no development can take place where there is no peace and security. When there is peace, development agencies will be encouraged to do more,” he said.
The Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr Samuel Adjogbe, remarked that the Okigwe-Arondizuogu-Akokwa Road was one of the emergency projects being executed by NDDC in Imo State. “It is a 30-kilometre road rehabilitation that also has solid drainage to ensure durability. We are going to adjust the specifications to include protection shoulders for the road to make it last longer,” he explained.
He said further: “With the way the contractor has been working diligently, we expect that the project will be completed in the next two months. From a technical point of view, I can say that the quality of work on the road measures up to our standards.”
Adjogbe commended the performance of the contractor, stating that NDDC would continue to encourage indigenous firms to increasingly improve on their capacity to deliver quality projects for Niger Delta people.
In his own remarks, the NDDC Director, Project Monitoring and Supervision, Engr Dr Emmanuel Ohwavborua Audu, said that the contractor had shown a remarkable commitment to the project. He noted: “The interesting part of it is that NDDC has not paid the contractor since the project was awarded three months ago. Yet he has done 17 kilometres of asphalt and achieved a substantial milestone.”
He said that the contractor had demonstrated that he had both technical and financial capacity to meet the expectations of the NDDC in terms of quality delivery. He stated: “The new language for us in the Commission is that the NDDC is not just an agency that is determined to make a difference, but one that is already making the difference.”
The Project Manager, representing the contractor, the Roudo Group, Engr. Henry Onuoha, observed that the weather had been a major challenge in executing the project but assured that the company would not relent. “We are confident that the project will be completed on time and according to specifications,” he said.
Giving a welcome speech, the Chairman of Arondiuzuogu Traditional Council, Eze Dr Ndubisi Kanu, thanked the NDDC and the Federal Government for giving a new lease of life to the people and appealed for an extension of the road rehabilitation to benefit many more communities.
He observed that for more than 20 years, the road had been in very terrible condition until now that the Federal Government through the NDDC came to relief them of their years of suffering.