The strategic importance of the East-West road to the socio-economic and political landscape of the Niger Delta was re-echoed on Tuesday with a call on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru, to give priority to the project.
The contract for the construction of the 338km dual carriage East-West Road was first awarded in 2006 during the twilight of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
Originally divided into four sections, which traverses towns in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta States, a fifth section was added to it in late 2014 and it covers from Oron to Calabar, in Cross River State.
National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, who made the call when the minister paid a courtesy visit to the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja yesterday, lamented that despite huge funds sunk into the East-West Road by successive administrations, it remains uncompleted.
He said: “You have one of the most challenging and strategic assignment as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. The Niger Delta is an area that had been steeped in unrest. You must ensure that the unrest does not arise again.
“You have the East-West Road which is a major challenge. It will be a significant achievement for this administration if the project is completed. The project will go a long way in assuring the region that this government is working in their interest”, he said.
Responding, Mr. Uguru said the ministry under his watch would leave no stone unturned in contributing to the achievement of the party’s Change Agenda for the country and also bringing sustainable development to the Niger Delta area.
He also promised to give priority to the completion of the East-West road.