THE Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme said on Tuesday that it had expended the sum of N80 billion on the East-West Road project.
SURE-P Chairman, General Martin-Luther Agwai, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, explained that the amount was spent towards the completion of the project since 2012 when SURE-P entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Agwai, who had earlier inspected the East-West Road, added that the project had reached 82 percent completion.
According to him, the Federal Government attaches much importance to the dualisation of the road being a major trunk outlet for the transportation of petroleum products from Port Harcourt and Warri refineries to other parts of the country.
Agwai also disclosed that contract for the upgrading of Port Harcourt-Eleme Junction Flyover to Onne Junction (15 kilometres), to three-carriageway had been awarded.
He added that another contract had been signed for the extension of East-West Road from Oron in Akwa Ibom State to Calabar in Cross River State.
Agwai, however, blamed the delay in the completion of the project on the terrain, adding that the East-West Road has over 16 bridges that have been constructed.
He noted that before SURE-P intervened in the project, inadequate funding, cost escalation and difficult community leaders had also contributed to the delay in the completion of the multi-billion naira project.
“This is my first time to travel from Warri to Oron and I will tell you that it is not possible to complete the road on December 31, 2014. All things being equal, by May 2015,” Agwa stated.
He lauded the federal government for its efforts in rehabilitating the road and pointed out that the road construction had impacted positively on the people.
According to him, “We, as Nigerians, must understand that government is working in the interest of all and has not interfered with the funding. Over 3,500 have benefited from the job. It has impacted on the people, both skilled and unskilled.
“We have been able to meet our mandate. SURE-P came up after the partial removal of oil subsidy. SURE-P will work with integrity and will not connive with anyone to waste tax payers’ money.”
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