The Minister of the Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio proposed an extra-budgetary intervention for inclusion of the East-West Road Sections I-IV in the 2021 SUKUK issuance programme of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The Minister disclosed this on Tuesday adding that the project has attained an average completion of 78.40 %(inclusive of the new section IIIA – Eleme Junction to Onne Junction and the Eket Bypass).

He also revealed concerns over the security and safety of commuters, adding that the move for SUKUK intervention was part of the efforts made by the Ministry to access adequate funding for the completion of the East-West road project.

What the Minister is saying

The Minister revealed that the appeals for extra-budgetary funding intervention for the project was yielding fruits as the Minister of Finance has graciously directed the DMO to include the project in the SUKUK issuance of 2021.

He also noted that due to poor annual budgetary provisions, the contract for the upgrading of Section IIIA awarded in 2014 could not commence until the Ministry paid the contractors the full mobilization Advance in 2020, and regretted that the condition of the road deteriorated during the period of delay, adding that there has been serious encroachment on the right-of-way initially delineated for the road.

“These encroachments leading to right of way constraints, especially at Onne Junction by the Power Substation belonging to Niger Delta Power Holdings necessitated a change in intercession design from interchange to flyover bridge with roundabout, which has to be applied to refinery junction and Akpajo junction also redesigned to have a flyover bridge to ease traffic flow,” he said.

“It cannot be overemphasized that the implementation of the projects to completion will impact positively on the economy of the Niger Delta region through the generation of direct and indirect employment, increase in commercial activities along the road corridor, enhanced safety and security of the commuters, and reduction in travel time and vehicle operating cost”

“More importantly, it will satisfy the social inclusion and esteem needs of citizens of the region, and further endear Mr. President to the people,” he added.

In case you missed it

Recall Nairametrics reported in August that the Federal Government said that it raised the sum of N669 billion from the Nigerian capital market through the issuance of Sukuk Bond

The funds which were raised by the Federal Government through the Debt Management Office (DMO) were from the capital market between 2018 and 2020.