Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) located at Akenfa and Polaku in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state has handed over two uncompleted bridge projects to the Bayelsa State government
Samuel Ogbuku, managing director of the NDDC, handed over documents of the projects to Governor Douye Diri during a courtesy visit to him at Government House, Yenagoa, on Thursday.
According to reports, the Polaku bridge connects communities in Yenagoa LGA with Sabagreia in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA as well as provides an alternative route from the East-West road into the state capital.
The project was started in 1982 by the late Melford Okilo government in Rivers State and taken over by the NDDC in 2000. But the project had been stalled for many years.
Similarly, the Akenfa bridge project, which is across the Epie Creek, had been uncompleted for many years.
A statement issued on Friday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, noted that on assumption of office the Diri administration approached the NDDC to take over construction of the projects due to their strategic importance to the state.
Ogbuku said the commission had paid off the contractors for work done, stressing that the state government now had the responsibility of ensuring their completion.
“We are handing over the Akenfa and Polaku bridge projects to the Bayelsa State government for completion and for the benefit of the people. There are no encumbrances as we are not owing the contractors. So the government is free to handle the two projects,” he said.
The commission’s boss said the delegation, which included the Bayelsa representative, Denyabofa Dimaro, was in the state to formally introduce the new board to the governor and to inaugurate some projects.
While seeking collaboration with the state government to deliver impactful projects to Bayelsa and other Niger Delta states, Ogbuku said the commission is also “willing to synergise with other partners such as the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and the European Union to develop the region.”
He lauded Diri on his developmental strides in the state, saying that the NDDC was in the process of offsetting the N2billion owed Setraco for the Ogbia-Nembe road and that President Muhammadu Buhari was expected to inaugurate it in the second week of May.
Governor Diri underscored the need for the NDDC to collaborate with governors of the Niger Delta states on project execution and ensure equitable distribution of infrastructure.
Congratulating the new board, he said: “You have a lot of abandoned projects littering our state. But I’m sure you are doing a lot about them, and knowing who you are, I also believe that you have the capacity to lead the NDDC to greater heights to the admiration of people of the Niger Delta.
“Nobody is an island. Therefore, we need to collaborate for the overall development of our region and the states. So, without you even asking for support, I lend my support to you and the board of the NDDC,” he said.
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