- It’s first land fall into oil-rich ancient Nembe kingdom
Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to commission the 29-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.
It is the first ever land fall into the oil-rich ancient Nembe Kingdom. By sea, it takes over three hours on a speedboat to get to the town, from Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital.
Analysts say it’s a face-saving effort by the much beleaguered government quango that is enmeshed in a recent humongous mismanagement of N81.5 billion in four months, amidst several infractions on development projects in the oil region.
The road, built in conjunction with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), cost N24 billion, cutting through swampy terrain with spurs to 14 other riverine oil communities.
It needed 10 bridges and 99 culverts to conquer the pristine swampy rainforest.
The construction involved digging out four metres of clay soil and sand-filling it to provide a base for the road, according to Charles Odili, NDDC’s director of corporate affairs.
Odili delivered the NDDC management’s invitation to the President through the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, who has been in the eye of the storm lately following National Assembly investigations into the activities of the commission.
Significantly, “the Ogbia-Nembe road has cut the journey time to Yenagoa, the state capital, from three hours to one and a half hours,” he said.
Odili said the joy of the communities served by the road was unspeakable: “This project is a not only a flagship of intervention in the Niger Delta, it is also a model of development partnership between the commission and international oil companies in the region.”
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