By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to release its counterpart fund for the reconstruction of the 105.6-kilometer Benin-Abraka Road project, so as to intensify work on the project.
The reconstruction of the road was re-awarded early last year on joint financing by the state government, the NDDC, and the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Area Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC) with a financing ratio of 25%: 50%:25% respectively. The construction work is to cost N21.222b.
Obaseki stated this in a meeting with the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura in Benin City.
He said “We have a contract with NDDC on the Benin-Abraka Road which has been awarded and construction has already commenced. But with almost nine months into the contract, we have not received payment of the contribution from NDDC even though we have a signed agreement of commitment from the commission.
“This road project is quite significant because it is another road connecting Edo and Delta. This is one area we want to you to look into in order to expedite construction work on the road.”
The governor continued, “We support the reorganisation that is currently taking place in the NDDC. I don’t believe that there is any other state that has been deprived like Edo in terms of resources that were allocated to it through the NDDC as previous management of the commission has admitted and apologised that in terms of allocation, they did not achieve 20 per cent allocation performance in the state.”
The governor expressed optimism that the Edo State government would work better with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in ensuring that NDDC is used for the development of the region.
The governor added that the state government would also collaborate with the ministry in housing development and electricity supply through an initiative, which he said would require the involvement of Edo, Delta and Ondo states.