Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, has assured that the district will enjoy the commencement of work at Bodo-Bonny road project, Ogoni Clean-up project, Andoni/Oyigbo Power project, Water Projects and East-West road project in this year’s budget.
Speaking while appearing as a guest on Today’s 95.1 FM Port Harcourt, news and current affairs programme; ‘Insight’, Abe said he was liaising with various committees and ministries to ensure that the projects are appropriately appropriated in the budget.
“You will recall that the last time the Honourable Minister of Works was in Rivers State, he publicly asked the people to thank me for the commitment I have shown to the takeoff of the Bodo-Bonny road project.”
Abe said the project would be of immense benefit to the entire Rivers State and the nation in general.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Works for the prioritization given to the project and said he would double his effort until the project is realized.
Furthermore, Abe said the chances of the project being executed is boosted by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), which has agreed to part fund the project.
On the Ogoni clean-up project, Abe said a sum of 190 million dollars have been earmarked for the exercise.
“I was talking with some friends the other day about the Ogoni clean-up. We have worked on that and we are still working on it. In this year’s budget, a total provision of over 190 million dollars have been made. It is supposed to be 200 million dollars and we are still pushing for it to be made 200 million dollars for the takeoff of the programmes of the clean-up project for the year. That is part of what SHELL is to contribute for the clean-up exercise for the year.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), said that plans are underway to expand power projects at Andoni and Oyigbo Local Government areas of the district.
“I am also working with the Senate Committee on Power to try to create impact of the Power project in the senatorial district particularly in Oyigbo LGA. We are also trying to expand the power project in Andoni LGA as part of our constituency project this year.”
The former Secretary To Rivers State Government, said he had worked on water projects for Rivers South East Senatorial district in the budget.
“We are also trying to do some water projects across the senatorial district within the budget this year.
On completion of the East-West road project, Abe said he was working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to see to its completion.
“We are also working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to see that reasonable budgetary provision for the East-West road is made. The Minister has been committed and wonderful. He has been running around. But, unfortunately, I don’t see the appropriate appropriation based on what I have discussed with the company handling the project. I have not been convinced that the appropriation the way it is now, they will actually go back and be bold to deliver. The provision that is made this year, the company is telling me that it will not be enough for them to go back to site. They said if they have a minimum amount, they are even ready to bring in some of their own funds and be bold to make sure that the project is completed.”
Abe assured the people of the district that he will do all within his ambit to ensure that his choice as a Senator is not regretted.
“But you know at the federal level, the competition for funds is so intense. Nigerians do not understand how difficult it is to get the federal government to execute projects because everybody is pulling from every side. Just as I am pulling for this side, people are pulling for the other sides and the money is not just enough. So, by the time they say let them take one million here, take 20 million there, before you know, it will not be enough to achieve anything meaningful. That is why you see projects span years and years.”
Senator Abe who used the opportunity to clear the air on the relationship between him and the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as well as the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, stated that all was cordial and the so-called misunderstanding among them was based on people’s speculation and imagination.
Reported by Ike Wigodo