• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Fubara may have made economic summit key statement ahead of event

Fubara may have made economic summit key statement ahead of event

…Reveals where the N225.1bn will come from for the Trans-Kalabari highway

Gov Sim Fubara may have delivered a key statement ahead of the Rivers Investment and Economic Summit when he revealed the economic thinking behind roads to oceanic towns and creeks.

He said at the flag off of the N225.1bn Trans-Kalabari highway that cost of construction in the riverine areas is four times the normal. This, according to one of royal fathers, is because of high cost of moving building materials across the creeks and waters to far-flung riverine areas.

The governor disclosed that the ambitious and aggressive road scheme to such towns is to make such bulky goods travel by road from loading point anywhere in the upland and markets to the nearest destination. Else, trans-loading at many points alone shoots costs far above the prices of purchase at the major markets upland; including trans-loading at sea and at smaller jetties in the creeks.

So, to create a common market in the state, roads to such areas would reduce sharp price disparitythat seem to make cost of living in the oceanic areas and creeks very high.

On the other hand, fish stocks in those faraway riverine areas are sold so cheaply at fishing ports by fishermen at sea who find it difficult to bring the fish to the towns. Both ways, the oceanic towns and creeks seem to lose.

Governor Fubara referred the audience to what the Amanyanabo of Abonnema said about cost of living and cost of construction in the riverine areas. The governor said when the sensitive road is completed; it would have helped to solve the problems associated with cost of property development in the riverine communities.

He noted, “This road will bring development to our people. This road will bring economic advancement to our people. So, we need your buy-in. You need to also cooperate with the contractor, your leaders and chiefs, so that there will be no sabotage.

The road began at Nkpor-Aker Road Roundabout, Rumuolumeni community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

Funding:

Fubara maintained that there was some fund saved from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and federal allocations to fund the project to completion without borrowing. He said this was why 30% of the contract sum has already been paid to mobilise the contractor to site to deliver on schedule.

He gave his reason thus: “When we went for campaign in the three local government areas of Kalabari ethnic group, we promised you that if you gave us your votes and we succeeded, we would embark on the Trans-Kalabari Road.

“And that is what we have come to do today. We are a government; when we make promise, we keep our promises.

At the economic summit, the governor would have bigger stage to articulate the driving principles and policies behind the economic plan he wanted to pursue and what his administration was doing on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).

President Goodluck Jonathan flagged off the road project to connect most Kalabari towns. He used the opportunity to sue for peace in Rivers State and warned against escalating it to level of regional and national instability.

The governor had thanked former President, Jonathan for accepting to perform the flag-off of the project because he understood the magnitude of the project and the specific transportation needs that it will address.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works, an engineer, Atema Briggs, gave the dimensions of the Trans-Kalabari highway which he put at 12.5km for the first phase with four concrete bridges measuring 576meters, 288meters, 360meters and 108meters, separately.

In his remarks, Managing Director of Lubrik Construction Company Limited, an engineer, Hadi Shihadi, said they had already mobilised to site, and were confident to deliver the project on schedule with the cooperation of host communities.