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COVID-19 will not hinder our desire to build stronger Delta — Aniagwu

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Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu (2nd right), and the project Manager, Levant Construction, Mr. Ghassan Fadel,during the inspection the of the massive storm water drainage under construction at Okotomi area in Okpanam.

The Delta Government says that notwithstanding the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic it will continue with all its outlined projects in line with the administration’s development agenda for the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, stated this on Thursday  when he accompanied his counterpart in the Ministry of Works, Chief James Augoye, on projects inspections in Okpanam area of the capital territory.

The duo inspected the 4.6 kilometer Storm Water Drain and the 3.9 kilometer 15 feeder roads project within Okpanam and Okotomi communities in Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state.

According to Aniagwu, the state government is committed to completing the 4.6 kilometer storm water drains in Okpanam and other roads projects including the expansion of the Ughelli-Asaba road project to dual carriage way.

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“Despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic the state government is committed to continue with all ongoing projects in the state.

“The governor is desirous of continuing with his agenda of building a ‘Stronger Delta’ by building infrastructure.

“Again, we are also desirous of saving houses and homes from the impact of flooding and by building the infrastructure we are also creating more jobs for our people.

“COVID-19 will not stop our desire to build a stronger Delta,” the commissioner said.

On his part, Augoye explained that the 4.6 kilometer storm water drain on completion  would distill flood water from Okpanam area directly to the river instead of the usual discharging of flood to Asaba.

He said that the contractor, Levant Nigeria Construction Limited, had done about 2.9km of the 4.6km storm water drains, adding that the project was billed for completion at the end of this year.

“This 4.6km storm water drain is massive, it was awarded in June 2019.

“With the levels of work done, we have been able to reduce the volume of flood waters going into Asaba.

“We are also constructing adjoining 15 street roads totalling about 3.9km to reduce the volume of sand that moves from the Okpanam areas to block the drains from Okpanam to Asaba and this is 60 per cent completed.

“What we are doing here is also being replicated in Warri and Effurun which is being handled by the Warri/Effurun Special Development Agency,” Augoye said.

Augoye, however, blamed the rate of rainfall in the state as part of the challenges that had hampered the pace of work on the projects.

“So, working with the weather focus here has also failed us as most times the weather focus was never accurate and the volume of rainfall was a contradiction to the forecast,” he said.

The Levant Project Manager, Mr Ghassan Fiadel, said that the company had paid compensation to 50 per cent of owners of property  billed for demolition to ensure timely completion of the project.

According to Fiadel, the remaining houses on the drain line will be pulled down next week after payments have been effected to the owners.

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