By Gabriel Enogholase
OKUGBE—THE people of Okugbe community, Uromi Kingdom, Esan North East Local Government Area, Edo State, have bemoaned the unacceptable condition of the road linking the village and neighbouring communities.
They said the motorway formerly known as General Hospital Road, renamed Chief Tony Anenih Road was very strategic to the community, as it links it to the state-owned Government Hospital in the town, Ebhoyi, Egbele and other communities, but it has remained decrepit since 2003 when it was awarded to Messrs Jisaco Nigeria Limited by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, with a 2005 completion date.
Community petitions EFCC: The community in a petition dated May 1 to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, copied the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and Managing Director, NDDC, Nsima Ekere,signed by the chairman, Hon Stephen Irabor, said: “We thought that within a period of nine months, the project will be completed, but unfortunately, we discovered with time that the contractor has demobilized from site when construction has not been completed.
“But following complaints from our people and several representations made to the Edo State office of the NDDC and the Commission’s Port-Harcourt headquarters, the contractor would mobilize to site and would disappear from site after a while. The contractor did a shoddy work on one side of the road, which has now become erosion prone and a death trap. The contract has since been abandoned,” the people said.
They stated that several representations have been made to the NDDC headquarters in Port-Harcourt as well as the state office of the Commission in Benin on the abandonment of the road by the contractor with nothing coming out of such representations.
Demands probe: “Most worrisome and disheartening is the allegation that this aforesaid road has been completed and commissioned and this allegation was communicated to the NDDC headquarters in Port-Harcourt since 2009 and there has not been response from the commission up till date.
“We are writing you this letter imploring you to use your good offices to investigate all that we have highlighted above possibly to bring the contractor to book or make him to go back to site to execute or complete the project for the benefit of the immediate communities and Nigerians in general,” the community stated.
Commission scrutinizing abandoned projects
NDDC Commissioner, Edo State, Mr. Saturday Uwuilekhue, was unavailable for comment when NDV visited his office in Benin City, but a source said all complaints about abandoned projects by contractors were being looked into by the commission and advised Egbele community to exercise patience.