A sum of 100 billion naira has been approved by the Federal Government for the finalization of the East-West Road. The road which the amount of money was allocated for is the Sections 1 to 4 of the East-West Road project.
This information was disclosed by the Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani at a meeting with the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), which was led by its National Chairman, Chief Style Benjamin Tamaraebi, on Tuesday 9th April, in Abuja.
The Minister said that the federal government is close to awarding the contract with a new design as the previous East-West Road was constructed without design. And that it also had no due process and financial plan then.
The East-West road has long been neglected by government
Pastor Usani added that China Export-Import Bank had also pledged their support for the road project. He said that China Export-Import Bank gave out the sum of $500 million for the construction of Section 5 of the road from Oron to Calabar. While the Federal government provided counterpart funding. The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had also consented to the Presidency that the N100 billion should be paid directly to the contractors from the Federation account to enable efficiency. The East-West road is one of Nigeria's busiest roads like the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
According to him, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is expected to monitor the completion of Sections 1 to 4 of the East-West road.
In 2018, a Presidential Inter-Ministerial team was on assessment tour to the Sections 1 to 4 of the East-West road from Warri, Delta State to Oron, Akwa Ibom State. During that tour, they pointed out that contractors would need about N100 billion to complete the four sections of the flagship project in the Niger Delta region. Pastor Usani, during the meeting told HOSTCOM Representatives that this project submission from the Presidential Inter-Ministerial team committee that went on a tour of the road aided in approval of the N100 billion by the federal government.
The FG will execute the new East-West road at a cost of 100b Naira
The Minister also disclosed that the federal government had also directed that the Gas Flare Penalty Fine being requested by the host communities, will be released to them.
It was known that this Gas Flare Penalty Fine was the fine that has been constantly appealed for by the HOSTCOM, (which is the parent body of all oil and gas producing, impacted, and satellite communities in the Niger Delta region) to the federal government to be released since 2009 after its approval. The lingering gas flare penalty fund was approved by late President Musa Yar’Adua in 2009.
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