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Stakeholders move to curtail further encroachment on East-West Road corridor

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The team of counterparts put in place by the Federal Government to monitor investments on the East-West Road have urged immediate relocation of transit parks and markets along the corridor to ensure that the highway corridor is efficient, safe and economical in the short, medium and long-term.

Director of Press, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Patricia Deworitshe, who disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja, said the team made the call at the wrap-up meeting of the first tour of counterparts on the complementary programme held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

According to them, there was also need for immediate steps to preserve the uncompromised sections of the corridor, and the desilting of block drains on the corridor within municipalities, among other issues.

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They, therefore, warned that failure to take proactive steps to curtail further encroachment on East-West road corridor might lead to haphazard development along the corridor, which they said, had bedeviled other federal highways.

Also speaking, the Director of Urban Development, Ministry of Niger Delta, Olufemi Oloruntola, said the programme was aimed at rallying counterparts to manage the road corridor from unimpeded movement of goods and passengers, adding that the counterpart team has come together to plan and control what happens on the corridor.

Oloruntola said that the initiative was in line with the resolve of the leadership of the ministry to have closer engagement with states along the corridor to ensure that from Effurun in Warri, Delta State to Oron in Akwa Ibom State and on to Calabar in Cross River State, transit is safe, timely and efficient.

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In her presentation, the Director Road Transport, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Ehigie Agalasi, commended the ministry for such laudable initiative and said the transport sector was indispensable in the overall development of the nation.

She said that the Ministry of Transport had initiated the development of transit parks in some designated areas to eliminate indiscriminate parking of vehicles by drivers, especially trucks along the major highways across the country.

Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, while inaugurating the team in Abuja had disclosed that the ministry put together the initiative to rally all counterparts to combine all efforts to providing befitting management structure for the road corridor.

Akpabio said it was critical and compelling that the ministry urgently and proactively take steps to guarantee the road corridor to deal with the envisaged challenges of settlement, growth and human activities along the route.

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