The federal government has given N33 billion to RCC, a massive construction corporation, to begin work on the Eleme-Onne portion of the East-West road in Rivers State.
ThisTimes reported that this information was made public by the minister of works, David Umahi, yesterday during his inspection of the project and many other federal government efforts in the state.
Speaking from the building site of the Eleme-Onne road, Umahi said that President Bola Tinubu had given him the job of making a working visit to assess the ongoing progress.
He emphasized that this project gained relevance as a result of the president's conversations with Siminalayi Fubara, the governor of Rivers State, and the minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike.
"The people of Rivers State headed by Governor Siminalayi Fubara and a delegation that included former Governor Nyesom Wike travelled this road from Eleme to Onne port to visit the president.
"The president instructed me to come here right now and make sure that work has begun. The President has given RCC N33 billion to begin this project," the speaker stated.
The minister showed satisfaction with the job done by the contractor, CCECC while reviewing the Port Harcourt-Aba leg of the Port Harcourt-Enugu road project.
The minister also admitted that the government still owed the construction company around N5 million, but he promised that the payment would be made before the project was finished.
Umahi promised to work with the President to find funds for the project's completion after expressing dissatisfaction that it wasn't included in the 2023 budget.
"You've now paid N18 billion. I urge you to come back to the location right away. You should have done a total of 12 kilometres.
"You claimed that we owe you an additional N5 million, so I request that you go back to the site and clear all the silt from the ditches on both lanes leading to Ala-Ojii in Aba. Then fill the ditches with sharp sand, leaving a 30- to 45-cm gap, and cover the remaining 45 cm with a stone base. Then, open both lanes for traffic."
He added that regrettably, "We only have N11 billion in the 2023 Appropriation for this project.
"I'll see how they respond to it, but I'll also report to the President to see if we can make a special financing request for the Port Harcourt–Aba road project. However, I have reassured the contractor that obtaining finance wouldn't be a problem.
"I want you to rule out your engineers and your equipment," he added, noting that he would be coming to assess the two lanes.