From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has set aside more funds for the continuation of the Yenagoa- Oporoma road in the state.
The road is going to link Yenagoa the state capital to the largest local government area in the state, Southern Ijaw.
The road which has been in the drawing board since the 70s was abandoned by the Federal Government but was revived by the state government starting from the Alamieyeseigha/Goodluck Jonathan administration and the Henry Seriake Dickson government.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Ayiba Duba and his Works and Infrastructure counterpart, Moses Teibowei stated this in separate interviews in continuation of inspection of projects ahead of the one year in office of Governor Douye Diri.
The inspection team which visited the Yenagoa- Oporoma road, the Opokuma road, Commissioner quarters road and Tombia roundabout said the Diri administration is set to provide quality infrastructure for Bayelsans.
At the Oporoma road, Duba who expressed satisfaction with the work done from the last visit explained that though the road is a federal road, the state government cannot fold its hands and do nothing.
“The last time we were here for those who were here and what we are seeing now, this is to show that as a government when we say we want to do something, we would do it. At the Opokuma road you saw what is going on, the Tombia roundabout, you saw what is going on, even at the Commissioners quarters you saw what is going on. This is to tell you that when our government says it wants to do something, we don’t just say it for the sake of saying it; we have to back our words with action.”
Duba while stating that the road has been earmarked since he was a young boy and has not been constructed till now when he is approaching grandfather status noted that the state government is not bothered about the stance of the federal government that it would no longer refund money spent on federal roads because its focus is to give Bayelsans infrastructure.
“We can’t fold our hands and be waiting. We can’t wait for anybody, we would go ahead to do it. We are not concerned with what they are saying, what we are thinking of now is that let Bayelsans have the benefit of infrastructure we have provided.”
Teibowei in an interview said part of the N27.5 billion received as refund on federal roads from the Federal Government is being ploughed back to the Yenagoa- Oporoma road.
“Part of the refund has to do with this road. The state government used its funds to build the Ekoli Bridge and Federal Government refunded. They came and saw that the Bridge was in existence and the road was done to a particular point. It is a federal road and the federal government should fund it but even if they don’t fund it. What we have received as refund from the federal government is to be put back into the project and that is what we are doing.”