Contractor Abandons Bayelsa Road Project After Kidnap Incident

Ogbia – Nembe road, Bayelsa State
Ogbia – Nembe road, Bayelsa

The kidnapping of its expatriate staff and the killing of two soldiers attached to it last week has forced Setraco, the construction firm working on the Ogbia – Nembe road to abandon the project.

Two soldiers attached to the site were killed last week Tuesday while trying to repel an attack by kidnappers, while an expatriate staff of the company was abducted.

The N100 billion road project is being jointly funded by NDDC and Shell Petroleum Development Commission, with the Bayelsa State government injected about N3 billion two years ago to fast track the project.

The NDDC on Tuesday lamented the development, noting that it would delay the commissioning of the project earlier scheduled for April 29.

The acting Managing Director of NDDC, Ibim Semenitari, who spoke to the press on the matter on Tuesday said she was in Bayelsa State to assess on-going projects and identify areas that need immediate intervention.

Semenitari said that the commission had from inception till date awarded a total of 28 regional projects out of which two have been commissioned, 20 on-going, while six are yet to kick off.

She said further that 658 other projects have also been awarded covering shore protection, repair of roads, sand-filling, construction of jetties and electrification.

When the NDDC team visited the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, at the Government House, Yenagoa, their host advised the commission not to allow itself to be used to further political interests but to serve the interest of the Niger Delta people.

Dickson said that resources made available to the development commission should be channeled to only projects that would bring development to the region and enhance the quality of life of the people.

While commending the NDDC for the contracts it had awarded in Bayelsa State, governor Dickson expressed dismay at the number of abandoned projects in the state, which he attributed to the over-politicization of the commission.

“The NDDC should move away from the era of using the commission as a conduit to service the vested political interest, but rather NDDC should serve the interest of the Niger Delta people.






     

     

    “It should channel available resources on projects that can affect the development and prosperity of the region,” he said.

    “No doubt, contracts were awarded for development projects in Bayelsa but they were abandoned after the payment of mobilization fees. So, in Bayelsa, you have a litany of abandoned projects in every community, which is not fair,” the governor observed.

    He also called on the federal government to constitute the governing and advisory boards of the commission to enable governors and other stakeholders in the region advise them on critical projects that need to be executed to bring rapid development to the area.

    He said priority should be given to projects that would open up the state, noting that since the wealth of the state lies in the sea, efforts should be made to embark on projects that would lead to access to the Atlantic Ocean.

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