Stakeholders takes proactive steps to curtail further encroachment on East West road Corridor

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, MNDA, and its Stakeholders in the Complementary Programme has taken proactive steps to manage the East West Road Corridor to ensure its safety, efficiency and economy* to aid development and growth in the region.

The Director Urban Development, Tpl. Olufemi Oloruntola made this known at the wrap-up meeting of the first tour of counterparts on the Complementary Programme held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently.

He said the programme is aimed at rallying counterparts to manage the road corridor from unimpeded movement of goods and passengers. He added that the counterpart team has come together to plan and control what happens on the corridor.

Tpl. Oloruntola explained that the initiative is in line with the resolve of the leadership of the MNDA to have closer engagement with States along the Corridor to ensure that from Effurun in Warri, Delta State to Oron in Akwa Ibom State and on to Calabar in Cross River State, transit is safe, timely and efficient.

Speaking further he said the Federal Government has spent billions of naira in the construction of East West road and therefore cannot be left to be compromised by haphazard development along the Corridor, which have bedeviled other federal highways.

In her presentation, the Director Road Transport, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Ehigie Agalasi commended the MNDA for such laudable initiative and said the transport sector is indispensable in the overall development of the nation.

In her words" it is only when an adequate and efficient transport system is established that other sectors can grow" adding that an investment in transport translates to an investment in other sectors of the economy.

She explained that the Ministry of Transport has initiated the development of transit parks in some designated areas to eliminate indiscriminate parking of vehicles by drivers, especially *trucks* along the major highways across the country.

Mrs. Ehigie further explained more on the importance of the Transport sector to livelihood and its benefit to the people.

In his contribution, the Assistant Director Infrastructure MNDA, Engr. Osahon Idemudia advised on the need to undertake a survey to establish the Corridor Right of Way and sensitize the people to it.

The team of Counterparts after the tour of the Corridor, concluded that there is need for transit parks, relocation of Market along the corridor, immediate steps to preserve the uncompromised sections of the Corridor, and the desilting of block drains on the corridor within municipalities amongst other issues.

The counterparts team therefore produced a Communiqué and Advisory Notes which will be forwarded to the Honourable Minister for onward presentation to the participating States.

Patricia Deworitshe
Director (Press & PR)
November 26, 2020

Huge investment on East-West road a waste without proper management - Akpabio warns

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that the benefit of the huge investment on the construction of the East-West road may not translate to lasting returns unless proper management structures are put in place to guarantee that all parties play their roles effectively.

Akpabio gave this warning at a stakeholders meeting convened to evolve an enduring platform for the planning, development and management of the East-West Road Corridor in Warri, Delta State.

Represented by the Director of Housing and Urban Development, Engr. Okereafor Patrick, the Minister noted that the federal government was pushing hard for the completion of the East-West road.

The Minister said that the sole purpose of the meeting was to enrich and ensure the collective appreciation of the task ahead and to have firsthand knowledge of the entire corridor which spans a total length of about 361Km across five States of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

Akpabio explained that the Road Corridor is presently a dual carriageway with a total of four lanes, adding that at the end of the technical meeting and the tour which will last two days with a wrap-up in Uyo, the attendees will appreciate the essence of the road tour.

His words: "I am certain that we shall all be clear and lucid about the content of our collective task, the challenges and the importance of our commitment to this cause."

He urged all stakeholders to gear up and demonstrate commitment towards the completion of the road and commended the Delta State Government for assisting in the organization of the meeting.

In his remarks, the representative of the Delta State Governor, his excellency, Sen.(Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, Olorogun Arthur Akpowowo, esq, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Urban Renewal Delta State said as one of the focal persons of the counterpart team, he will ensure that Delta State cooperate with MNDA to actualise the success of the East West road corridor.

The Director Urban Development (UD) MNDA, Town planner (Tpl) Olufemi Oloruntola in his presentation on complementary programmes for East-West Road said the objective is to heighten their resolve for action and lay the foundation for the consensus among stakeholders.

According to him "the East West road is a highway that carries heavy traffic which includes volatile and dangerous cargos which had resulted in traffic jams and clogs, damage to road, disruption of economic activities, insecurity, trauma and increased maintenance cost as well as loss of revenue to the Government, adding that the locations for immediate action were Ughelli, Patani, Elele, Port Harcourt, and Eket.

Speaking further, Tpl Oloruntola said that the complementary programmes are proposed to protect the corridor and guarantee its Return On Investment (ROI) on a long-lasting basis.

In his words, "the idea is for the MNDA to take proactive steps early to establish approved access and exit points in conjunction with the relevant state and local authorities, especially the Local Planning Authorities along the corridor. Their respective physical plans will integrate into these points. The essence is to implement mitigation actions to control and manage access and provide for seamless influx and exit of traffic at agreed, designated and approved locations only and thus eliminate corridor clogs."

In his contribution titled “Highway Development and Evolution in Nigeria: Past and Contemporary Vision, the Deputy Director Urban and Regional Development, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMW & H)”, Tpl. Lanu Olalekan said that road transportation constitutes one of the major features of the economic development of Nigeria, adding that the road chosen at the inception of the road development were inter-regional from North-South and East-West connecting commodity production centres with Railways Stations and the Ports.

Olalekan further stated that the roads were primarily built in Nigeria to feed the railways and be complementary to them. However, roads eventually took over from the railways as the country's road network improved and captured more and more traffic from railways especially after independence in 1960.

Patricia Deworitshe
Director (Press & PR)
November 25, 2020

Courtesy visit of Traditional Rulers from Gombe State to the Hon. Minister

A delegation of traditional rulers from Gombe State led by the Emir of Akko, Akko Emirate, His Royal Highness Umar Muhammadu Atiku; Emir of Pidinga, Pidinga Emirate, His Royal Highness Muhammad Soyoji Ahmad and the Emir of Gona, Gona Emirate His Royal Highness Umar Abdulkadir Abdulsalam among many District Heads during a courtesy visit to the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of their son, Dr Babayo Addo as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

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