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FG gives Nov 2021 deadline for East-West Road completion

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Akpabio

The Federal Government has ordered the completion of East-West Road in Niger Delta before the end of November 2021.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, said this yesterday in Abuja when the Petrol Station Owners Association (PESOA) visited him to demand the approval of the revaluation and supplementary valuation of the 40 filling stations belonging to its members.

The filling stations, according to the PESOA, are in the Eleme junction and Onne portion of the road.

The Coordinator of the group, Dr. Joseph Obele, said they were informed that compensation would be paid to the owners of the filling stations based on the valuation carried out about six years ago.

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Obele urged the minister to approve the revaluation and supplementary valuation of the filling stations.

He said the valuation was done six years ago when naira exchange rate was about N160 to $1.

He noted that most of the association members were omitted, adding that ownership of most of the property had changed.

Obele said: “A new DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) policy negates licensing any station on any land that is less than two plots. Invariably all the stations will be rendered useless, irrespective of the degree of encroachment.

“That based on the environmental impact assessment report available to the group, the proposed height of the new road being higher than the filling stations’ level at the moment will adversely send heavy flood to stations, and underground tanks will be stock and flooded with water.”

Akpabio said president Muhammadu Buhari is interested in the completion of the road.

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“Mr. President has graciously returned the construction section 1-4 of the East-West Road to the ministry and he has said that he must inaugurate that road by November 2021 no matter what it takes for it to be completed,” the former Akwa Ibom State governor said.

“We don’t have time, we must get cracking because the dry season in the region is always the best time for construction.”

According to the minister, the Federal Government has so far spent about N331 million on the road from Warri while the initial cost remains about N102 billion.

“With the release of these N20 billion, what we are looking for now is about N82 billion. As soon as we exhaust this amount we will make sure that the other one is ready.

“The initial release as of yesterday is about N9 billion, so we still have some money for the companies that are ready.”

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