• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Fubara replies critics, says his one year surpasses previous years

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Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, who has endured tantrums as a complete failure in office by the opposition baying for his impeachment, has responded, saying his one year may have overshadowed the previous by his critics.

This is as the governor has revealed how report tabled at the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) shocked him and opened his eyes to the rot in education, health, and agriculture.

He has asserted that the success of service and project delivery achieved within his first one year in office is better than the eight years spent by some other administrations.

Gov Fubara made the assertion during the official inauguration of the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road project, in Andoni Local Government Area on Saturday.

The governor explained his assertion, saying that the accomplishments were secured within three months that his administration had actually settled down to work, given the festering political crisis.

His supporters said the governor only took effective control of his administration after he fell out with his godfather, the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike. It was believed that the minister was actually the one ruling the state in proxy. Fubara seems to confirm such rumours.

Revealing what will be done soon in the health sector, Gov Fubara said it was appalling that recent statistics had classified Rivers State as below the set benchmark in terms of enrollments and health facilities availability.

Govr Fubara, who explained that the statistics, not specific to any particular administration’s lifespan, covered over a period of time, which indicates unacceptable level of neglect to the sector.

He, however, assured that in the next six months, Rivers people should expect to see evidence of significant investment that his administration has made to change the narrative.

He said, “I was in Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting on Wednesday, and we were given an update from the chart on medical position of all the states. It was in zones.

“You won’t believe that in that chart, everything that has to do with enrollment, even the level of facilities that on ground in that assessment, Rivers State was classified as below benchmark. It is a pity.

“It is not something that just happened in a day. It is not something that just happened within my time in government. No, no. It is statistics collated over a period of time. So, it means when we tell you that our target is education, healthcare, and agriculture, we didn’t make any mistake.

“We might have done other things, but those key areas have not been adequately attended to. And we promise our people this afternoon that by the special grace of God, in the next six months, there will be a total change in the health sector of Rivers State.”

On Unity Road:

Commenting on the project, Gov Fubara said the project has been delivered successfully, and applauded the initiator of the project, former governor, Peter Odili, and successive administrations that contributed their quota in realizing the Unity Road, for the people.

Gov Fubara stated that his driving principle remains putting the people first, which he said was why he would not renege on the promise of internal roads that he made to Andoni people during electioneering campaigns.

The governor, therefore, directed the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, to liaise with Monier Construction Company (MCC) to do scoping for commencement of reconstruction of Ngo internal roads and new contract for extension of the road to Oyorokoto Town.

He said, “But, I just want to say this: what is important today is the section of the Unity Road that connects Andoni to Ogoni and Opobo/Nkoro has come to reality. That is the important thing.

“I want to say here that we need to develop our own, and if we have to do it, we have to do it ourselves. So, I promise my people that we are going to do more jobs, more connecting roads for the Andonis by the special grace of God.”

He directed for scoping of Ngo internal roads and a road to the oceanic town of Oyorokoto.

He said, “I am also aware that we have issues in the other communities in Andoni. Some of them are flooding issues, which is even the more critical issue.

“I know of a place called Oronija. They are having very serious erosion and flood issues, and other places. We are going to do something about it. It is my promise to my dear people today. He called for support of the people.

“In the governance of this country, the success of the centre is the success of the sub-national. And when the sub-national succeeds, which is the state, the local governments will succeed. And when the local governments succeed, it means, more projects, more life-changing activities will be seen in your domain.”

In his welcome address, the member representing Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, explained that this was the first time, since the dawn of the current democratic dispensation, that the Andoni people would gather for an inauguration of a development project within Ogbolo land.

He, therefore, expressed gratitude to Gov Fubara for making it happen.

Abiante who expressed gratitude to Gov Fubara for accomplishing the feat and making it possible for them to drive on land from the city to their various communities, assured that the people would work to ensure the success of his administration.

Also speaking, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, said it was important to explain that the Unity Road, initiated by Odili, had its inaugural foundation stone laid on the 3rd January, 2005, and not in 2004.

Providing the description of the project, Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Works, Atemea Briggs, said the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Andoni/Opobo Unity Road project is 27.5Km long, 7.3 meters width size, and has side drains of 2.5Km in length.

Briggs emphasised that the project, which was re-awarded on July 13, 2023, by Governor Fubara to MCC, had the contract sum reviewed from N9.984billion to N11.1billion because of escalation of prices of materials and petroleum products.

“Many of us know the story of this road, but it took the bold step of His Excellency to finally deliver the road that the Andoni people have long yearned for.

“The road project was initially handled by RAFFOUL Nigeria Limited until July 13, 2023. At that time, the project was re-awarded to Monnier Construction Company, MCC by Gov Fubara to ensure its speedy completion.

“The original contract sum of the project was N9.984bn, but was later reviewed upward to N11.1bn due to fluctuation and escalation of the prices of working materials and petroleum products. This contract has been fully paid and completed for commissioning today.

“This road is 27.5kilometers long, and it has the width of 7.3 meters. The asphalt thickness, you can see, is 100 millimeters; that is made up of 60 millimeters of binder course, and 40 millimeters of asphaltic wearing course.

“It has side drainages within the community, totaling 2.5kilometers long. It has side case totaling 12.6 kilometers, and a bridge of 3 spans of 20, 20, 20 meters long being a total of 60 meters.

Read also: Infrastructure and Rivers economic summit: Fubara’s N501.2bn for 3 mega road projects in first one year may impress investors

“Today marks a special occasion as this road stands as a significant gift to the Andoni people. It fulfills His Excellency’s promise and commitment to deliver it within his first year in office. Now, that promise has become a reality, delivered within a record time of 5 months”, he added.

While presenting the traditional kola nuts, the chiefs of Andoni, led by the Okan-Ama of Ikuru Town, the king, Aaron Ikuru, conferred on Gov Fubara, the Njenyisi 1 of Ogbolo Land (meaning the champion of development of the people).