By Edeki Igafe
Warri (Delta), Sept. 10, 2020 The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the abandoned Koko-Ogheye-Epe-Lagos dual carriageway started in 1955.
Ikenwoli made the appeal on Thursday, when he undertook an assessment of abandoned projects in Koko North Local Government Area of Delta.
He said that the dual carriageway was conceived in 1955 through the late Festus Okotie-Eboh as a former Federal Commissioner of Finance.
He decried the abandonment of the road which, according to him, will take less than two hours to get to Lagos from the area, when completed.
Newsmen learnt that the project was later awarded to Levant Construction Ltd. in 2010 by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Ikenwoli said: “This is no job at all. I feel bad that such a job is done in my community. Koko is a very special community in our kingdom.
“There is Nigeria Ports Authority and a museum here. Oil companies, including Shell, Chevron and others, are also here.
“So, everybody comes here from all over the world because of the strategic position of the community.
“This is the only road leading to the community. This job should be terminated and a good contractor should be appointed to do a good job for us.
“I thank God that I have been able to come and witness this project today. The project has been on since 1955.
“The project was abandoned because of zero funding. Additionally, this road is going to open the riverine communities to projects.
“I am going to appeal to the government to pay in advance so they can move back to site.
“By the time the road is enlarged to three lane or six super high way, it will be better for the kingdom and the communities.
“And it is not only the Itsekiri kingdom that it is going to benefit. You can see my Ijaw brothers here.
“There is a good relationship between us and the Egbema people. So, if this road is opened up, the Ijaws, Itsekiris and Ilajes will benefit enormously from it.”
The Managing Director of Levant Construction Ltd., Mr Elie Tonnous, blamed the abandonment of the project on the paucity of funds.
Ikenwoli also appealed to the president to re-award the Koko Sea Shoreline Protection project to save the community from ocean surge.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the job done by SMIEC Nigeria Limited at the project.
The monarch was accompanied on the inspection by Chief Ayrimi Emami, Yemi Emiko and government functionaries, including a House of Representatives member, Rep. Thomas Ereyitomi.
NAN reports that the road, measuring 15.4km, has a 150m bridge at Ologbo River.
By Edeki Igafe