Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday, pledged his administration’s resolve to connect the state with roads and bridges for economic growth.
The governor said this while speaking with newsmen after inspecting the Alihami-Agbor-Nta-Oki road in Ika South Local Government Area of the state.
Okowa, who also inspected the Owanta erosion control road project and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Training School, Owa-Oyibu in Ika North East Local Government Area, said government would sustain roads development in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that the importance of roads connectivity to economic development could not be over emphasised, adding that the prevailing pandemic could not stop good governance and infrastructural development of the state.
According to him, connecting the state with roads and bridges will ensure economic growth of communities.
He assured the people of Delta of his administration’s commitment to executing projects that would impact on their lives.
Okowa, who was conducted round the projects by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba and his housing counterpart, Chief Festus Ochonogor said: “we will continue to execute programmes and projects that will make our people to be prosperous.’’
“In spite of the COVID-19 and the slowdown of so many things we are doing as a state, there is need to go down and check the things that we intend to continue in the next few weeks.
“I first visited the Alihami-Agbor-Nta-Oki road; it was a surprise visit and the contractor himself was not on site but the workers were on site and it afforded me the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge of level of work being done.
“A lot of drainage work has been done and some sections of the road have been stone-based.
“That road is very important because when it is completed to Edo border, it means that those going to Jesse, Oghara and Sapele axis will have a much faster route.
“That is very good for us and our people because it connects Delta with a section of villages that are actually in Edo and then to the Jesse end.
“The road interconnectivity is good for commerce and economic development of the benefiting communities and we will continue to construct as many roads as our finances can enable us,” Okowa said.
The governor, who also inspected the Owanta gully erosion and road project, said that the place was terrible before now as several homes had been lost to the erosion, but expressed optimism that with the work being done now, several homes had been saved.
“It’s actually a project of Delta with the World Bank.
“This is one of the five sites in Delta and the contractor, Levante Construction is doing well.
“We are happy with the work being done and he has assured us that even through the rain they will continue working to ensure that a lot of homes are saved.
“We are in the process of awarding contracts for other erosion control projects in the state,’’ he said.
Okowa said the FRSC training school was a collaborative project between the state and the corps because “we believe that the school will have an impact on the economy of this area.’’
“We are providing the buildings; they will provide other needed infrastructure and provide the staffing to enable the school take off.
“Right from the lockdown, we allowed some contractors to return to site with strict adherence to the NCDC protocols and that is why we allowed the erosion control project to continue because it can have been very devastating impact.
“I am glad that the contractors are on course and they have assured me they will continue to work throughout the rains,’’ the governor said
The governor, however, revealed that the state had recorded 106 confirmed cases on COVID-19 to date.
He said that though the numbers were restricted to certain local government areas, the state had continued monitoring the development.
“For us in Delta, we have 106 cases of COVID-19 now but they are actually restricted to certain local government areas at the moment.
“And we are monitoring the trend and whatever decisions we are going to take as we move into future is going to be based on the data that is available before us.
“This is to ensure that we are taking informed decisions and having a targeted approach; that is our intention and we hope that God willing, we will continue to do our best to combat the pandemic,” he said.