Reps Committee Frowns at N15 Billion Allocation to East West Road Project

Reps Committee Frowns at N15 Billion Allocation to East-West Road Project

East West Road project

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs has questioned the appropriation of N15 billion to the East West Road project.

The members of the committee present at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs 2021 budget defence disapproved the allocation of N4 billion to all other human developmental projects in the region.

Rep. Essien Ayi (PDP-Cross River), Chairman of the committee, revealed the state of the East West road had been under construction for more than 14 years.

He said, ‘We just finished with EndSARS, we know what happened, the whole of my state capital everywhere was turned upside down.’

He recounted by saying, ‘The kind of devastation that I saw there, it would have taken us about 10 years back.’

However, he noted that, ‘If the budget is youth-oriented, then why are we going to use N15 billion for East-West road.’

Referencing the Senate President’s warning, he stressed by saying that, ‘if this thing resurfaces again it is going to be very devastating.’

He proceeded by saying that, ‘So, minister, we have about 300 or more projects in Niger Delta. So, how are you going to allocate the money to these kinds of projects, it’s not possible, we will not do it.’

Rep. Edim Eta (PDP-Cross River), also, expressed that the allocation of N15 billion for the East West Road and N4 billion for other projects in the Niger Delta is rather unfair; pointing that the bulk of the funding coming in 2021 should go to youth programmes.

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In response to this, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, said it was noted that the roads constructed under his supervision were without holes for years. He insisted on delivering a good road that will serve the people well.

The Senator continued by saying that N15 billion couldn’t go round for all the proposed East West Road project, but that none of them will be up for completion under the current administration.

He said, ‘let us just close our eyes and do something.’

Sen. Akpabio buttressed that an estimate for the road in Section 1-4 is about N423 billion and about N354 billion has been paid so far up till date.

He added by saying that, ‘The total completion in my opinion is about 80 per cent. Yes, the terrain is challenging, annual rainfall affects the work, releases of funds are slow and then COVID-19 added to it too.’

‘But, we are determined to surpass those challenges. That’s why we are here today.’

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