Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF) has commended the move by the Delta State government led by Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori to commence remedial work on some selected failed federal roads, particularly the Asaba-Benin Expressway and the Agbor-Eku Road to make them more motorable for road users in the state.
DOPF in a statement while applauding the governor for planned intervention work, however, tasked the government to engage competent contractors that will deliver quality jobs that could stand the test of time and give the state value for its money.
The online publishers stated this in a press statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Enebeli, and Secretary, Mr. Shedrack Onitsha, noted that the era where contracts are awarded to political associates and cronies purely as political patronage without regard for competency to execute quality jobs should be a thing of the past in Delta State.
Recall that the State Government while announcing the award of contracts worth N78 billion to Julius Berger for the construction of three flyover bridges and road expansion in the Warri/Effurun megalopolis, also announced plans to carry out remedial works on federal roads, particularly the Asaba-Benin Expressway and the Agbor-Eku Road to make them more motorable for road users in the state. The decision to bring in Julius Berger received a general welcome applause from Deltans.
The statement reads: “We want to commend the Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori for harkening to the cries of Deltans over the deplorable state of most federal roads in the state, which has made traveling along these roads an agonizing experience for many Deltans and other travelers passing through the State.
“While DOPF salutes the government for this planned remedial works on federal roads, particularly the Asaba-Benin Expressway and the Agbor-Eku Road to make them motorable for road users in the state, we also charge the government to do due diligence on the competency of the contracting firm to undertake such remedial work.
“We were elated when we heard that a contract was awarded to a reputable construction company, Julius Berger for the construction of three flyover bridges and road expansion in the Warri/Effurun megalopolis, and we had thought that Delta State had moved past the era of awarding major road contracts to Obi and Emeka ltd.
“While we are not against patronage of local indigenous firms that have a track record of delivering quality jobs, we believe that consideration should be more on the competency of the firm than on political affinity, which has kept the state in motion without movement in the past efforts at delivering enduring projects that can stand the taste of time.
“We have it on good authority, sadly that one of the local contractors who is a major party loyalist with a record of poorly executed jobs has been mandated to carry out repair work on the Agbor/Eku Road, and will soon mobilize to site to commence work immediately before October.
“We are particularly concerned about this contractor considering the controversy surrounding his company’s poor handling of the N350M repair of a failed portion of Effurun/Sapele Road leading to the then Minister of Works placing an embargo on state intervention on federal roads.
“Deltans have suffered for many years now on account of this failed Agbor/Eku Road and its repair should bring relief to our people, hence the government should put politics aside in the choice of the contractor in order not to relapse into a deeper mess a few months from now.”