Former Commissioner for Housing of Delta state, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, now Chief of Staff, is a titled chief of Okpe Kingdom. He is certainly not gaudy; neither is he a gadfly nor a maverick politician. Yet, give it to Akpeki, his loyalty to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is total, and his allegiance, fidelity and uncommon devotion to his boss, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan is unflinching.
Uduaghan took time to choose his Commissioners, Special Advisers and Aides, because he does not believe in failure. And there is none in his cabinet who has not performed creditably well. As Commissioner of the ministry, Akpeki said, his mandate was, “involve, inter-alia, the construction and maintenance of public buildings for the purpose of providing befitting offices for the business of government and also the construction of residential buildings to meet the ever increasing housing needs of the people of the State. Government’s overall intention is to ensure that Deltans feel the positive impact of its housing policy by having access to decent, safe and healthy accommodation at affordable cost.” The foregoing responsibilities are among others.
Some of the inherited projects under the housing scheme by Uduaghan’s administration have been completed, and others, which hitherto were abandoned, have been resuscitated with works nearing completion on most of them. The completed projects include: Delta Towers, Abuja; Phase 1 of Sapele Market; Construction of office annex (Extension) to the Federal assisted secretariat, Asaba; and Governor’s lodge, Lagos.
Those resuscitated and are on-going include: the Religious Hostel, Government House, Asaba; the Office Complex of the Head of Service, Asaba; the construction of High Court complex, Warri; the construction of office complex for Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Asaba; and the construction and beautification of Erejuwa Play Ground, Warri.
In his vigorous pursuit of providing affordable houses for civil servants, Uduaghan has built 150 housing units. The scheme is made up of 50 units each of one, two and three bedroom apartments in Asaba for occupation by civil servants on owner-occupier basis. The sum of N800 million was approved and released for the project. There are plans to replicate the project in other locations of the state.
Uduaghan’s passion for the welfare of Civil Servants in the state is commendable. On the Ugbolu low income housing scheme, Delta State has a N1.5 billion term facility of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for the building of affordable houses for civil/public servants. There are two private developers, who are to develop 176 housing units at Ugbolu and Oku-Okokor sites respectively. So far, Tome Nigeria Limited, one of the developers has built 70 houses at Ugbolu. The vigor of rapid construction of structures got the Delta Towers, Abuja completed in a magical time.
Landmarks In The Transport Sector
Roland Igbakpa, Commissioner for Transport was encouraged by the governor to have maximum impact on other sectors, as transportation in every society plays a significant role in economic development.
The Ministry was saddled with the responsibility of regulating traffic on state roads, bridges and waterways; provision of safety measures on roads and waterways; provision of infrastructure to encourage inter and intra city transport by private investors as well as removal of obstruction from the highways and waterways. In addition, the ministry was saddled with the responsibility of vehicle inspection and issuance of road and river worthiness certificates.
Interestingly, Uduaghan released 35 Marco polo buses to a major private motor transporter, Agofure Motors. About 15
were left in Asaba but not for inter-state transport services. To further alleviate the sufferings of the masses, Uduaghan
later introduced the city shuttle, which replaced the long Marco polo buses.
In Asaba alone there are 20 city shuttle buses, apart from tricycles, and the normal public vehicles. In his passion to alleviate the sufferings of the masses, Uduaghan subsidized the fare, such that the drivers remit N2,000 a day only to the government, an amount which cannot even fuel the vehicles. It is amazing that as a result of the subsidy, Delta Line Transport office, Asaba, is usually crowded with passengers.
This is a compliment on one leg, in the sense that while other transporters are suffering from low patronage, Delta Line continues to attract many customers. When Uduaghan assumed office, there were 96 staff in Delta Line workshop, 10 knew practically nothing about automobile repairs. When interrogated, they said they were brought by politicians, who just gave the General Manager marching order to ‘employ my person.” To annihilate corruption, the government dropped about 46 of them after an intense battle with the labour union.
About 30 of 29-seater buses are now taking care of the Ogwashi-uku-Umunede route.
Some of the items purchased under the transport sector include:
- Two Heavy Duty, Automated High Capacity Tonnage Tow Trucks
- 130 Speed Boats
- 10 Tata Buses
- 805 Toyota Hiace Buses
- Built School of Marine Technology in Burutu
- 30 Innoson High Capacity Buses
- Four Mini Manual Tow trucks
- Ultra Modern Jetty and Waiting shed in Koko
- 38 Seater Nissan Civilian Buses for tertiary Institutions in the State
- 40 Toyota Hiace Buses for Students shuttle services in the 3 Senatorial Districts in the State
- Numerous number of Jetties in the Riverine areas including the construction of 31 concrete landing Jetties
- 4,073 Tricycles
- Traffic Control Devices The government has fabricated and installed 340 Bus Stop Signs for Delta City Bus Scheme
- Fabricated and Installated 311 Regulatory / Traffic Signs
- Advance Direction Guide Signs
- Led Solar Powered Traffic Light
- Lane Markings
- Establishment of Delta State Traffic Management Authority, among others.
In a bid to promote socio-economic activities within the state and beyond, improve inter and intra-city transportation as well as enhance access to rural communities, the Uduaghan administration has achieved giant strides in the construction/reconstruction, rehabilitation and maintenance of many roads.
Delta State, since the inception of the present administration, in 2007, has awarded 367 road projects valued at N240.8 billion. 156.5km of the projects awarded by Governor Uduaghan’s administration has been completed. Similarly, of roads awarded by the administration, 92 projects have been completed at a cost of N15.2 billion.
Asaba Urban Drainage Project
The Asaba Urban Drainage project involves the construction of 39.5km drains of various dimensions ranging from 750mmX 750 X 150mm, 900mm X 900 X 200mm to underground sewers of 1.5metre and 1.8metre diameter, box culverts, slabs, pedestrian walkways and other flood control facilities in parts of the core area including Okpanam, Anwai and Summit roads.
The contract for the Asaba Urban Drainage (phase 1&1V) in Oshimili South LGA for a little over N3bn is near completion to serve mainly as primary drains for the area.
Dualisation of Ugbenu-Koko Road
The dualisation of 33.6km long Ugbenu-Koko Federal road was awarded at a cost of N18.45 billion .It links Koko to the Benin/Warri dual carriage way. When completed, the road will enhance movement of goods and services to and from the Koko port and Export Processing Zone at Koko. Work has also attained 85 per cent completion on the road while N10.60 billion has been paid the contractor as mobilization
Trans Warri/Ode-ltsekiri Roads and Bridges
This 24km road has several bridges and quite a number of other hydraulic structures. Apart from the main Ubeji/Ode-ltsekiri road axis, it has a number of connecting routes. It traverses a very difficult and harsh terrain criss-crossed by several rivulets and rivers. It would open up the vast swamp stretching in the west coastal area and bring development closer to the people. This project which is already half-way completed was awarded at a cost of N27.8 billion out of which N12.2billion has been spent.
Dualisation of Ughelli-Asaba Federal Highway
The dualisation of the 148.9 kilometer Federal highway was awarded on November 14, 2008 to three contractors at a total contract sum of N59.4 billion. It is a major trunk road and vital link between the Warri/Port Harcourt East-West road and Benin/Asaba dual carriage way. On completion, the road which is 40 percent near completion would facilitate the transportation between the Warri Port-Harcourt and the Asaba/ Onitsha axis. It will also enhance evacuation of agricultural produce along the vast food basin which the road traverses.
Dualisation Of Old Lagos/Asaba Road, Agbor
This 9.2km road being constructed at a cost of about N9.2 billion naira links Benin/Asaba highway at both ends at Agbor-Obi and Emuhu and will improve the socio-economic development of the town. Work on the project is over 40 per cent completed including the twin bridges over the Orogodo River.
This 11.6km project with two bridges was awarded in 2011 at a cost of over N7 billion. It will open up the agrarian communities along the route with a view to facilitating evacuation of their farm produce and other products to markets on time. It is one of the projects embarked upon to integrate the remote parts of the state, mostly riverine and very difficult terrains under the State’s Rural Integration programme.
The 7.2km long road project was embarked upon in order to connect remote communities of the state through swampy and daunting terrain to the adjourning Effurun/Warri-Port-Harcourt Federal highway at the cost of N4.46billion. It will open up the agrarian community by providing access to its rich agricultural and aquatic products.
Dualisation of Refinery Road Along NNPC Housing Estate Road To Ekpan Roundabout, Effurun
This 6.2km road dualisation project awarded at a total cost of N4.3 billion involves the dualisation of Refinery Road and the link to Ekpan intersection in Ekpan town. It will improve traffic flow and also link the PTl/Ekpan road, Effurun/Sapele Road and NPA dual carriage ways. The road will complement other dual carriage ways in the metropolis. Work is on-going and has reached an advanced stage of completion.
Dualisation of Ughelli Arterial Road
This 7.2km road project is aimed at improving traffic flow within Ughelli metropolis. The project cost is N8.22 billion naira. The project which has reached 90 per cent completion has both ends connecting the Effurun-Porth-Harcourt dual carriageway.
Olomu Bridge and Access Road
This project has a12O meter span reinforced concrete bridge. It was awarded at a cost of N1.7 billion to link communities in Ughelli North and South Local Government Areas and provide an alternate route to the East-West road for people travelling to Warri from Port-Harcourt. It has been completed and commissioned.
The 22.45 Kilometer Road was awarded on the 24th of April, 2012 at N1.58billion. The road will serve the Udu/Jeremi people with access to Warri on one hand and Ughelli on the other hand. In addition to providing a short link from Ughelli area to Warri, it will also enhance evacuation of agricultural products from the rural agrarian communities. This is now virtually completed.
Dualisation Of Effurun-Osubi-Eku Road
This road was awarded to three contractors at a total cost of N10.3 billion. It links East West Federal Road to the Amukpe/Eku/Agbor Federal trunk road. It will provide improved alternative access to Warri and environs with several major industries which include Delta Ports, Warri Refinery and Delta Steel Plant, Aladja etc.
lssele-Uku/Onicha-Uku/Ugbodu/Okwunzu Obomkpa/ldumu-Ogo/lssele-Uku Road
This 33 kilometre long ring road begins and ends at lssele-Uku. The first phase (approximately 10km) has been completed and commissioned while construction work is still ongoing in the remaining section. When completed, the road will facilitate improved movement of agricultural produce. It is estimated to cost about N1.8 billion naira.
Dualisation of PTl/Jakpa/Ekpan Road
The State Government embarked on the construction of this 9.6km road to improve free flow of traffic in and out of Warri/Effurun metropolis and also to open up the Ekpan axis. The road was completed at the cost of N3.8billion.
This 3.3km road project was awarded in September, 2008 at a cost of N397 million. It is one of the link roads designed to open rural communities and provide quick access to their products under the Rural Integration Programme. It is specifically targeted at the enormous timber and forest resources along Benin-Ossiomo River. The project has since been completed and put to use.
The 10.0km Ekiugbo-lyede/Olomoro/Emede/Uzere Junction Road Section was awarded at the cost of N873.8million. It is the major gateway to the two lsoko Local Government Areas. It will enhance the evacuation of agricultural products and socio-economic activities of the people of the area. The first phase of the road has since been completed. A second layer of asphalt will be provided in due course to strengthen the pavement.
Reconstruction of Agbarho/Okan Junction, Warri/Eku Road with 2 Reinforced Concrete Bridges
This 1.0km long road has two 60m-span bridges and 3 Nos.3.0m X 3.0m box culverts (triple cell). The road is a short link between Okpe and Ughelli North Local Government Areas. This N1.2 billion project was commissioned in May, 2010.
Dualisation of Ajamimogha/Ekpan/Okere Road and Bowen/ Odion/Cemetery Roads, Warri
This 4.9km road projects have a combined cost of N2.3 billion. They are aimed at decongesting traffic in Warri and its environs and improvement of road network in the metropolis. The three road dualisation projects have since been completed.
Dualisation of Okumagba Avenue/Deco/Upper/Lower Erediuwa Roads, Warri
These projects with a combined cost of N3.3 billion are aimed at complementing the completed/ongoing network of dual carriage ways in Warri metropolis to remove constrictions in the flow of traffic. These roads will link the Cemetery/Bowen/Odion and Ajamimogha/Okere network of dual carriage ways at three points. They are also aimed at enhancing socio-economic development of the area.
Economic Development Of Warri/Effurun Metropolis
The issue of compensation on the Okumagba Avenue/Deco road is already receiving attention leading to commencement of work up to first layer of asphalt at its Ugborikoko end. Work would resume on the Upper/Lower Erejunwa Road once the issues of compensation are sorted out.
Widening/Rehabilitation/Dualisation of Enerhen/Udu Roads
This strategic link and alternative entrance to Warri/Effurun has become even more important with the completion of the Olomu Bridge. Contract for the 4.85 kilometre road was awarded at a cost of N960 million to ease the growing traffic on this axis of the metropolis. Following the poor performance of the contractor on the project, the process of its re-award is ongoing. Several bridges were also constructed either independently or as part of major road construction viz:
Construction of Omadino Bridge to link Warri/Sapele Expressway Bye-Pass
Contract was awarded in December 2011 to Messrs Niger Construction Limited at a sum of N6billion. The project will serve as an alternative route to the busy traffic congested Refinery and NPA Expressway. It will bring about rapid transformation of the entire area as well as reduce travel time for travelers and farmers taking their agricultural produce to the markets in the urban centres. Work has since commenced.
Construction of Ayakoromor Bridge across River Forcados in Burutu LGA
Construction of Ayakoromor Bridge across River Forcados in Burutu L.G.A was awarded on 3rd June, 2013 to Messrs Disimpro Limited at a contract sum of N6.5 billion. The bridge will bring rapid transformation to the entire area and create new frontiers for wealth creation.
Construction of Ajagbodudu-Ogharefe Road with a spur to the Independent Power Plant Project site at Oghara, Ethiope
The 8.35km road project was awarded to Messrs Levant Construction Limited on 5”‘ October, 2013 at the contract sum of N2,399,220,898.20. The road is a link between Oghara and Ajagbodudu with a spur to the lPP Project Site and also serve as a major link between the Oghara axis and Koko with its seaport and proposed Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Project. Work has since commenced and reached an appreciable level.