By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—”IF anybody had told me and other inhabitants that we will walk on good concrete-paved roads to access our homes, we would have laughed it off, but thank God for the State Employment and Expenditure for Results, SEEFOR, Bayelsa, which has made the impossible a reality.”
This testimonial by John Ebi, a resident of Koko Lane, a sprawling settlement, off the old PDP Secretariat Road at the Yenizue-Gene suburb of Yenagoa, surmises the view of numerous residents captivated by SEEFOR, Bayelsa.
Over the years, the people have had to contend with their marshy and flood- prone environment by building makeshift wooden bridge, otherwise known as Monkey Bridge, to access their homes during the rainy season.
Findings by NDV showed that since the programme, collaboration between the Bayelsa Government, World Bank and European Union to fund quick impact development projects like concrete walkways, streets, market stalls, craft and health centres, kicked off in the state, SEEFOR has constructed hundreds of concrete paved roads in areas which were hitherto inaccessible, improving not only socio-economic wellbeing of the people, but also aesthetics of the areas.
It was also learned that the flurry of road construction in the state capital being embarked upon by SEEFOR has also provided jobs for over 3,000 youths.
Another resident, who simply identified himself as Dan, said: “We can now drive and park our cars in our respective homes and not by the roadsides where thieves vandalise them. The interesting thing about the new roads is that we no longer experience flooding.”
NDV learned that the Project Coordinator, SEEFOR, Bayelsa and his team’s commitment to the objectives of the agency has been responsible for the series of good roads being constructed in the state.
A member of staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The project coordinator has put in place mechanism to ensure strict monitoring of projects awarded by the agency. This is responsible for the many good jobs being executed across the state.
“The SEEFOR project is a multi-sector project designed to bring series of reforms and interventions to improve the quality of life in the Niger-Delta states and that is exactly what we are doing in Bayelsa,” he asserted.
He added that the youths were engaged to provide labour for the concrete road projects for a period of one year and paid a monthly stipend of N20, 000.