In the pursuit of lasting development and enduring infrastructural improvements, Governor Rt. Hon Francis Oborevwori of Delta State is urged to draw inspiration from the remarkable legacy of General Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, a distinguished Nigerian army officer and politician. General Ogbemudia’s tenure as the military Governor of the Mid-West State (1967–1975), later renamed Bendel State, witnessed the construction of roads that have proven their longevity over time.
Given the history of unsuccessful attempts by past administrations in Delta State to replicate Ogbemudia’s legacy of long-lasting road infrastructure, it is crucial for Governor Oborevwori to prioritize such enduring quality in his infrastructure projects. This approach will significantly improve the socio-economic landscape of Delta State.
Amidst recent approvals by the State Executive Council for vital road projects, the call for constructing roads that stand the test of time has gained prominence. Notable approvals include the reconstruction of Upper and Lower Erejuwa Roads in Warri, the rehabilitation of Esisi Road, and projects like the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of PTI Road, Oviri Court-Adagbrasa Road, and Ohorhe-Adagbrasa-Ugolo-Okuodiete road. Additional initiatives encompass the construction of roads around Otovwodo junction, Nsukwa-Umute-Adonte Road Phase 1, and remedial works for the bridge at Bedesegba.
It is noteworthy that the Ogbemudia roads were constructed in an era when technology wasn’t as advanced as today, yet these roads have proven their resilience over time. Some of the roads are Upper and Lower Erejuwa Roads in Warri, Warri-Sapele Road, Link Road, Eboh Road, Ginuwa, Ometan Road, Market Road, etc.
During Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan’s administration (2007-2011), I came across a Pointer Newspaper headline: “End of Road Failure in Sight as Delta State Government Procures Soil Testing Equipment”. Similarly, under Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s regime, the then Delta State Commissioner for Works, James Augoye, highlighted the government’s efforts in setting up an advanced soil testing laboratory within the Ministry of Works premises. While commendable, it’s instructive to note that these efforts have not led to the construction of roads matching General Ogbemudia’s caliber. The soil testing equipment, acquired, must be effectively employed to ensure durable roads, curb premature deterioration, and save significant maintenance costs.
The recent approval of N10 billion for Social Investment by the Delta State Executive Council to fund palliatives for Deltans demonstrates a commitment to the welfare of the people. However, it is equally vital that the government’s allocation of funds extends beyond immediate relief to address long-term infrastructure needs. High-quality roads are a foundational component of any thriving economy, facilitating commerce, reducing travel time, and enhancing overall connectivity.
As Governor Oborevwori continues to steer the affairs of Delta State, he has the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy by emulating the vision and quality of infrastructure established by General Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia. By prioritizing roads built to endure the test of time and utilizing soil testing equipment effectively, the Governor can set Delta State on a path toward sustainable growth and prosperity. The people of Delta State await a future where infrastructure not only meets their immediate needs but also shapes their destiny for generations to come.