25 Jul

A Partnership Office is to be established soon in Bayelsa State to collate and harmonize all development needs of communities in the State. When established, it will also serve as a one stop office to equally authenticate and harmonize all development efforts being undertaken by interventionist agencies as well as check the duplication of projects.

Governor Seriake Dickson dropped the hint during a tripartite meeting between the state government, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC on the construction of the Ogbia and Nembe road project. “I like to thank SPDC and NDDC, which are our development partners for their initiative and investments over the years, particularly on this road and all the interventionist projects that are going on.

In this state we are establishing the Partnership Office and once it is functional, it will be a one stop office that will collate and harmonise all development needs of our communities and various efforts by the interventionist agencies they are handling.” When functional, the Governor explained that, all interventionist agencies would liaise directly with the partnership office and communities to streamline their activities.

In his words: “This meeting has been summoned because we want to know the state of affairs of the Ogbia/Nembe road. I campaigned on the need to invest in critical infrastructure in this state and we are delivering on that” Governor Dickson explained that the meeting was convened for representatives of the companies involved in the execution of the Ogbia/Nembe road project to brief him on the position of the road to enable government intervene where necessary to ensure that the project is delivered on schedule.

He stressed that it was necessary to move on to the next phase of the road project, which he described as the most expensive and challenging in order to ensure completion of the project within the stipulated time frame.

While, pointing out that construction work was already ongoing on two senatorial roads, expressed concern over the delay of work on the Nembe-Brass road, stressing that, his administration was desirous of opening up the state to boost socio-economic activities. “We have the objective of hitting the Atlantic Ocean on three main fronts.

The west through Ekeremor and Agge; that job is going on, the central through Yenagoa-Oporoma-Koluama-Ukubie, work is going on seriously as we speak but then our plans to get to the Atlantic in Brass cannot move further if we are not sure of a realistic time frame for the completion of the road already started from Ogbia to Nembe because the road we want to take is from Nembe to Brass. But even if that road is started and finished, it will be of no effect unless we first ensure that we can get to Nembe and that is why that project is very important to us.

In an interview with government house correspondents shortly after the meeting, Secretary to the state government, Prof. Edmund Alison Oguru, said the issues responsible for the delay on the project were discussed as well as ways and means to address the challenges.

Also in his remarks, Chairman of the Directorate of Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Chief Walter Feghabo-Amain said the meeting deliberated on issues of compensation and local content employment. Chief Feghabo-Amain who doubles as chairman of the Project Monitoring Committee of the Ogbia/Nembe road noted that, compensation for those whose farms were affected by the project and the issue of employment for communities situated along the road would be addressed.

In their separate interviews, representatives of SPDC, Mr. Evans Krukrubo, NDDC, Mr. Edi Orubo and the Project Manager of SETRACO, Senaka Rupanett, stated that the partners involved in the execution of the road have expressed commitment to the completion of the project in 2015.

Mr. Krukrubo said the SPDC was funding the project by 70% while the commissioner on the board of the NDDC, Mr. Orubo observed that the meeting would go a long way in improving the performance level of the commission as outstanding payments to it would be sorted out in the next one week.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State


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