Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Rivers, a Nigerian oil-rich subnational has awarded N27.6bn contract for a road that tears through hard-to-reach oil communities in the state. The Trans-Kalabari and Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono road streams through riverine Ogoni and Kalabari communities which hitherto are hardly accessible.
These two major road projects are expected to be completed within 14 months, said Elloka Tasie-Amadi, the commissioner for works, while briefing journalists in Port Harcourt after the executive council meeting.
He said the Trans-Kalabari road will be 13.599 kilometres long, and will be executed by Lubrick Construction Company, a company owned by late indigenous oil mogul and businessman, O.B. Lulu-Briggs.
The road will connect several communities including Krakama, Omekwe-ama, Angula-ama, Mina-ama and some other communities in the Kalabari area of the state.
“The project will cost N13.6 billion and will have 14 months duration, financed by irrevocable standing payment (ISP) order drawn against the State Internal Revenue; meaning that every month the contractor will be paid N1 billon, and there will be no delays. This will guarantee the project is not stalled; and completed within the time frame stipulated and agreed with the State government,” said Tasie-Amadi.
He expressed hope that the roads will be useful to the people in the areas, and ease their transport burdens.
The works commissioner also informed that the state government approved the construction of the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono phase two road project which starts from Bori to Kono. The road is a 17-kilometre road, and would cost N14 billion.
The construction time is 14 months. Payment will also be secured by an irrevocable payment standing order of N1 billion monthly drawn against the State Internal Revenue, he said.
He said the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono contract will be executed by the same the company that executed its phase one, China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC).
The works commissioner said the reason for the high cost of the Trans-Kalabari road, a 13-kilometre long and 9.3 meters wide, almost the same as that of Bori-Kono 17.1 kilometres and 24 meters wide with street light, is because the terrains are different.
“The cost of building in the riverine area is nothing less than twice the cost of building on solid soil. The Government is going through huge trouble to see that these roads are built. People will wonder why the costs are like that; the terrain determines the cost. So, it (Trans-Kalabari road) is far more expensive to build,” the works commissioner said.