BY Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—Federal Government, yesterday, assured Nigerians, particularly, people of Niger Delta region, that the N349.8 billion contract for the dualisation of the East-West Road, will be completed by December 2014.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who gave the assurance, while addressing newsmen on progress on the road, said all necessary steps that would fast-track the projects had been put in place.
Orubebe said the Niger Delta Ministry was working with ministries of Finance and Justice, the Debt Management Office and financial institutions to ensure accelerated funding of road projects across the country.
He explained that so far N156 billion had been spent on the East-West Road, adding that the budgetary provision to the ministry could not cover the remaining N193.8 billion needed to complete the project.
The cost of the project, which was first awarded in 2006 for N204 billion, has now increased to N349.8 billion, with the completion date now December 2014. He blamed the delay on the project on insecurity and lack of fund.
Orubebe said: “In order to complete the project by 2014, according to the programme of work and cash flow projections for the four sections, the additional funds required in 2012 was N34.4 billion, while funds required for 2013 will be N86.5 billion and funds finally required for 2014 will be N50 billion.
“From SURE-P budget for the ministry, N21.7 billion is to be utilised for the East-West Road project this year. Going by these appropriations, it is likely that these funds will be enough to complete the project by December 2014.”
“The history of the East-West Road is replete with hiccups due to poor funding coupled with serious terrain and human problems,” he added.