Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
- Road to link up Port Harcourt’s industrial corridor
Leslie Eke, the monarch of Woji, an oil-rich community in the heart of Port Harcourt metropolis, which houses the Shell Industrial Area (Shell IA), is pleased that the state government had approved the construction of Woji-Aleto-Alesa road, which links Woji with Aleto and Alesa, home to Nigeria’s biggest oil refinery, the 210,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).
He told Business A.M. that the road, which would cost N9.6 billion, is to be built by Julius Berger, the Nigerian affiliate of German construction giant, Bilfinger.
Last Wednesday, Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers commissioner for information and communications, announced the state executive council’s approval of construction of the road at the cost of N9.6 billion.
Eke described the road as “economically important,” and that its construction approved by the Rivers State executive council, is a well-intended development judging by its economic importance to the people of the three communities upon its completion.
The Eze Gbakagbaka, speaking at his palace in Woji, Obio/Akpor local government of the state at the weekend, said the road would uplift the economic takings of Woji, Aleto and Alesa, three communities referred to as “Port Harcourt’s industrial corridor,” housing two petroleum refining firms (PH 1 & 2), a petrochemical company, two fertilizer firms with over 3.5 million metric tonnes capacity, and several pipeline-based companies.
“This road is of strategic importance to the entire state and the business world, due to its strategic linking to some of the economic areas of the state,” Eke, who also is the Nyerisi Eli Woji and Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, said. He said the road would help in advancing development of the areas.
According to him, the road, which would also crisscross some virgin forests, going by its construction trajectory, would develop the affected places through which it would pass, and further tackle the issue of unemployment in the oil region.
“The contract for construction of road linking Woji-Aleto-Alesa to Port Harcourt, is a noble one. I think it has the capacity to address unemployment and solve other economic challenges like access to the industrial area. Another possible gain of the road is easy access to the Port Harcourt Refinery, which deserves better economic attention,” the monarch said.
Meanwhile, the Eze Gbakagbaka has warned hoodlums who may under whatever guise, pose threat to realizing the job from the Woji axis, saying those who engage in such activities would be severally resisted by the palace leadership.
Frontpage September 3, 2019