One of the bad portion along the Benin/Sapele-Warri Expressway in Okpe LGA of Delta State. Pix by Delta State Government

By Ovie Okpare

Following the backlash that greeted the position of the Delta State Government on why it could not fixed some failed federal roads in the state, the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led government has made a u-turn to intervene in the deplorable state of the Benin-Warri section of the East-West Highway.

The state government had on Tuesday lamented that federal roads in the three senatorial districts of the state were impassable.

WARRI TODAY had quoted the government saying that it could not intervene to remedy the failed portions as a result of an existing contract which the Federal Government claimed to have awarded.

But the state government, however, made a u-turn on Wednesday after the State Commissioners for Information and Works, Mr Charles Aniagwu and Chief James Augoye respectively, visited some of the bad portions in the state.

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The government assured that it will intervene on the failed sections of the Warri-Sapele-Benin road to reduce the sufferings of road users who ply highway daily for the business activities.

Aniagwu and Augoye, who spoke with journalists during the inspection visit at Okuvo, Okpe Local Government Area of the state, regretted the pains commuters had to go through on the road because of the deplorable state.

The Commissioner for Works said although the road is a federal road, the state government will intervene to ameliorate the suffering of Deltans and other Nigerians travelling through the road for their business activities. 

This Warri Sapele Benin road is a Federal Highway and as a state we actually did palliatives works on some portions of the road before now and the parts we intervened on are still very solid till today, what we are doing here is to look at the possibility of the state government intervening.

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Augoye said, “The work here is not just maintenance or rehabilitation, it requires total reconstruction because the mud here is very clayed and it needs to be excavated to the soil base and refilled with sharp stand to make it solid so there is much work to be done here.

“Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has directed that we visit the site and see the possible way of intervention by the state government to free the masses from the sufferings on the road.”

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Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and, the Works Commission, Engr. James Augoye during inspection of the road on Wednesday.

In the same vein, Commissioner for Information, Aniagwu said the state government was intervening because Deltans and Nigerians use the road irrespective of where they are from, because what they are going through on account of the deplorable condition of the road. 

“You have seen it by yourself that it is in a very very bad condition and we are pained so it doesn’t just have to be Deltans that pass through here for us to be disturbed, we are disturbed because what is happening here affects not just the economy of the state and the nation.

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“The Commissioner for Works has made it very clear that we are going to start work in earnest but we have to plead with the Federal Government to assist us in taking care of these Federal roads because it is digging very deep into our pockets as a state and the more they assist us the better for us and the better for other Nigerians that are making use of these roads,” he added

The duo had earlier inspected work at the ongoing construction of the Ughelli Asaba Federal highway and appealed to the Federal Government to reimburse the State Government for previous interventions so that such funds can be deployed to other needs.


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