By Austin Ogwuda
ASABAâ€”COMMISSIONERS of Works drawn from the South-South region have hailed the on-going amnesty programme of the Federal Government, noting that it had helped to reduce the cost of projects execution following improved security situation in the region.
The Commissioners’ Forum also called on the respective state governors â€œto impress on the National Assembly representatives of their areas, the need to influence the relevant authorities to create subsidies for road construction in the zone from the Ecological Fund.â€
A communiquÃ© signed at the end of the meeting held in Asaba last weekend by the Delta State Commissioner for Works, Omordi George Ugbomah, and Engr. Emmanuel Frank-Opigo, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Works, among others, emphasized the need for proper planning, both in medium and long term, in order to achieve sustainable infrastructural development.
â€œIn this regard, the forum advocated that the group should meet with other stakeholders involved in the development of physical infrastructure in the zone, such as Federal Ministry of Works, Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ministry of Niger Delta.
“That the amnesty programme of the Federal Government is laudable as it has helped to reduce the cost of projects execution by the improved security situation in the region.
“That the unit rates for any particular project should be uniform, irrespective of the contractor.
“That respective state governments in the region should set up Road Maintenance Agencies, where they do not exist, to complement the existing structures in their ministries for routine maintenance of road infrastructure already in place.
“That states should be encouraged to set aside, at least 20 percent, of their annual budgetary provisions for road infrastructural development.
Earlier, while welcoming his colleagues, the State Commissioner for Works, Omordi George Ugbomah, said the meeting was aimed at â€œexploring areas of cooperation in the development of physical infrastructure of the region.â€