By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor & Favour Nnabugwu
Abuja—the Presidency has given marching orders to Works Minister, Mike Onolememen, to fix the Port Harcourt-Onne Road with immediate effect.
The road, which was abandoned by a German construction firm in the height of militancy in the Niger Delta in 2009, is now a death trap, which has affected both economic and social activities in the region.
The deplorable state of the road has effectively crippled the movement of goods to and from the Onne Port and hindered the free flow of traffic between the area, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
Apparently worried that the non-completion of the vital road, which provides access to the Onne Port and Gas Free Zone could be used as a campaign tool by opponents, the Presidency, yesterday, ordered the Federal Ministry of Works to take urgent steps to reconstruct the road.
A source close to the Presidency confirmed to Vanguard that “Mr. President is really concerned about the Onne-Port Harcourt Road and has given a marching order to the Works Minister to put it right.
“I believe that something positive will happen to the road within a short time.”
A senior official in the Federal Ministry of Works confirmed the presidential order, adding that necessary steps were being taken to jump start work on the road.
The official said: “We are working on it. Everything has to follow to due process and once we are done with the due process, work will commence. But l can assure you that we have gone very far on the process that will lead to the overhaul of the road.
“We want to take a holistic approach to find a lasting solution and have it done once and for all.”
It will be recalled that Onolememen recently said that the Federal Government had so far expended N1.47 trillion on 184 projects across the six geo-political zones in the country.
A breakdown of the 184 projects across the six-geopolitical zones showed 30 projects in the North Central, valued at N275.6 billion; 27 projects in the North-East, estimated at N319.1 billion; 20 in the North-West, N157.1bn.
Others are 45, South-East, N243.2 billion; 32, South-South, N107.5 billion and 30 in the South-West, N367.1 billion.