Why Okowa Cancelled Uduaghan’s N6 Bn BRT Project **Approves Over N5 Bn For Other Roads In Delta

em>Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) – 
THE Delta State Executive Council presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has approved the dismantling of the N6 Billion Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lane in Warri which was initiated and later abandoned by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration.

The Exco at its meeting on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Government House, Asaba also approved more than N5 billion for the construction of some roads in parts of the state.

Briefing the press on the outcome of the executive council meeting chaired by the state Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the Commissioner for Works, Chief John Augoye disclosed that the EXCO has approved the dismantling of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lane in Warri.

But Commissioner Augoye stated further that, the dismantling of the BRT lane in Warri was to ease congestion on the road and was in line with the yearnings of the people in Warri and Effurun vicinity, adding that the road was also approved for expansion.

It could be recalled that the Delta state Government, under erstwhile Governor Emanuel Uduaghan, had earmarked six billion naira for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane project in Warri, starting from Effurun roundabout to terminate at the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA).

While still in office, the proposed BRT project by the Uduaghan administration was hailed by many Deltans, especially residents of Warri until his exit from office as executive governor of Delta state.

Shortly after his tenure elapsed, the project which had already commenced and steadily gulping some funds, came under wide condemnation as it became clear to Deltans that the project would exceed the esrtwhile governor’s tenure as it was due to be completed by his successor.

A Warri-based lawyer, Barrister Jah’sWill Onyemah-Iwe had appealed to the incumbent Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to do away with the Warri Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, lamenting that its abandonment was bringing untold hardship to the people.

Also, a Human Right Activist, Barr. Omemiroro Maxwell Ogedegbe condemned Uduaghan’s discontinuation of the proposed Delta cum Warri BRT project saying the action highly demonstrated the purposeless focus of the former governor notwithstanding the traffic hazard it had created for the citizenry.

Meanwhile, former Governor Uduaghan is alleged to have declared that the much talked about Warri BRT project might not be completed by his administration owing to lack of fund.

Earlier in July, Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, at a meeting convened for Stakeholders at the Governor’s Office Annext Warri, said the State Government would consider the perception of benefitting communities and other stakeholders in arriving at a collective decision on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Scheme in Effurun-Warri.

Despite the slide show presentation by representative of the contracting firm, Mr. Biodun Otunola, on the viability and delivery of a standard BRT project, which he said was currently hampered by funding and compensation matters, several stakeholders were not persuaded.

The Ovie (King) of Uvwie Kingdom, Abe I, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the State, Chief Victor Otomevwo, amongst several others spoke against the project, saying it had brought untold hardship. The people largely advocated for dualization of the road to address frequent traffic jams currently experienced.

The Deputy Governor however said as soon as issues bordering on the BRT project are sorted out, the State Government would make its decision known to Deltans.

Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah moderated the Press briefing on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 which also saw the Commissioners for Water Resources, Chief Fidelis Tilije; that of Transport, Mr Vincent Uduaghan, among others addressing the Press on the outcome of the meeting.

Speaking on the over N5 billion earmarked for the construction of some roads in parts of the state by the Okowa administration, the Commissioner for Works, Chief John Augoye disclosed that the dualization of Sapele road from Amukpe roundabout would gulp the sum of N2.056 billion, while the dualization of Nnebisi Road to Cable Point, Asaba will cost N1.076 billion.

Other road projects are: Ozanogogo road phase II (N1.6999 billion); Ejiyeren/Akemu road (N169.2 million) and the main axial road, Okerenkoko (N121.3 million).

He added that Kefas Road, Oleh and access road to Tankers Park, Warri have been completed while there are other roads being constructed in different parts of the state and the contractors handling the section A of Ughelli/Asaba road and the Okpanam road projects have been directed to return to site as the rains have stopped.

Chief Tilije during the briefing, said the executive council approved the Delta State Water and Sanitation policy to streamline all activities in the water sector and regulate government investment in the provision of portable water in the state.

He also stated that the multi-billion naira Warri/Effurun water project has been approved for concessioning to ensure that “portable water runs in homes,” while the Commissioner for Transport, said the executive council approved the operationalisation of the Delta State Traffic Management Authority Law to ensure that road users comply with road traffic rules.

In line with the yearnings of the original owners of stores in Sapele market, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Ukah disclosed that the executive council approved that stores earlier allocated be revoked and money refunded to those who have paid while a more transparent and equitable distribution of the stores would be done with the original owners of stores getting priority treatment.

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