Warri- Sigh of joy greeted Ayakoromo and other riverine communities in Burutu Local government area when the Delta State governor through his works commissioner Chief James Augoye paid unscheduled visit at the abandoned bridge site after several protests from community youths and civil society organizations.
The commissioner for works told journalists in his visit to the project site that the governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa had approved 1billion naira in the 2020 budget for the continuation of work on the project and that the fund would be released by now and next week.
The project engineer who also briefed newsmen said the company had achieved 68.5 percent of works done on the project and that by next week work would commenced fully if funds are being released.
Reacting on the commissioner’s visit, comrade Ozobo Austin, Niger Delta right activist who doubled as national president of the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI expressed disappointment over the slow pace of work on the project as he called for increase funding of the project.
The activist told the commissioner for works that Ayakoromo and rest of other Burutu communities needed a befitting treatment from the state government being Burutu a major oil producing LGA in the state and that 1billion naira was not enough as the project needs 2billion annual budget.
He opined that Okowa was deliberately refusing to appropriate reasonable fund for the project because the project was not sited in Delta North and that with the poor attitude of the governor towards the project, he doubts whether the project would be completed before 2023.
Ozobo maintained that no responsible government would abandoned such mega project which would be a major achievement when completed.
He said the bridge had enormous economic importance when completed and that it would linked Burutu, Ughelli and Bomadi communities in the state.
Ozobo disclosed the slow pace of work on the site after 6years of Ifeanyi Okowa administration was due to his lacks of interest for the completion of the bridge project.
He said the project may had been completed if Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa was serious about it. He further added that the bridge project wouldn’t had took a serious government more than two years to be completed, citing Patani bridge as a case study.
He stressed that Okowa hates Ijaw people, and that was why he failed to prioritized projects in the Ijaw communities.
He however, appealed with the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to keep to his promise of releasing 1billion naira between now and next week to avoid further protest and ensure that the project was completed before he leaves office.