kudos and knocks greet Oborevwori’s 78 Billion flyover

Delta State is on the brink of a monumental transformation with the recent approval of contracts worth a staggering N78 billion for the construction of three flyover bridges and road expansion projects in the Warri/Effurun metropolis. This significant decision, reached during the State Executive Council meeting, has sparked a whirlwind of opinions, encompassing both commendation and criticism. In this feature story, we delve into the details of these ambitious projects, the reasoning behind awarding the contract to Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, and the contrasting viewpoints that have emerged.

In a forward-thinking move, the Delta State Government has given the green light to contracts valued at N78 billion, entrusted to Julius Berger Nigeria Limited. These contracts are envisioned to usher in a substantial upgrade in infrastructure, targeting traffic congestion and connectivity issues in Warri and Effurun.

The approved contracts encompass a range of vital components:

Enerhen Junction to Marine Gate Flyover: This initiative involves the design and construction of a flyover bridge at Enerhen junction to Marine Gate, promising to alleviate traffic woes in this crucial area.

DSC/NPA Expressway Expansion: This project entails road expansion and improvement from Effurun roundabout to DSC roundabout, including the construction of a 3/4 Cloverleaf interchange at the existing Effurun Flyover Bridge, in addition to two pedestrian bridges.

PTI Junction and DSC Roundabout Flyover: Another flyover bridge is planned at PTI junction and DSC roundabout along the Effurun/Patani, East-West highway, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area.

The road expansion on the DSC/NPA Expressway will result in two lanes of restricted carriageway at the center for through-traffic and two lanes of service road in each travel direction, effectively doubling the road’s current capacity from four lanes to eight lanes. This expansion will also include side drains to manage stormwater and improve traffic flow over a distance of 4.359 kilometers.

Effurun Roundabout flyover constructed by H.E. Emmanuel Uduaghan

Commissioner for Works, Comrade Reuben Izeze, explained that the choice of Julius Berger was founded on their extensive experience, competitive pricing, commitment to quality, and track record of timely project delivery.

State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, disclosed that the contract’s total value stands at N78 billion. The state government will provide an initial advance payment of 25 percent (N19.5 billion), with the remainder covered through an ISPO (Irrevocable Standing Payment Order) over 30 months.

These monumental projects have sparked diverse reactions. Pst Silas Buowe, a former Member of the Delta State House of Assembly, expressed heartfelt gratitude to Governor Oborevwori for his commitment to infrastructure development. He sees these projects as a testament to the governor’s dedication to the well-being of Delta State’s citizens.

Pastor Silas Buowe

In his words, “I am profoundly delighted and grateful for your decision to entrust the development and construction of these crucial projects to a reputable and experienced company like Julius Berger. By doing so, you have demonstrated your foresight and commitment to the well-being of the citizens of Delta State.

“The construction of these flyover bridges and road expansions will undoubtedly alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety, and enhance overall connectivity within our stateā€¦ Your choice truly reflects your commitment to ensuring that only the best is offered to the people of Delta State.

“As we eagerly anticipate the completion of these projects, I am confident that Delta State will experience a significant boost in economic growth, as well as an improved quality of life for all residents.

“Once again, I extend my deepest gratitude for your unwavering commitment and leadership in bringing about positive change. Your genuine efforts to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people will not go unnoticed.”

In contrast, Aruviere Martin Egharhevwa (Esq) questions the cost comparison with flyovers built by former Governor Nyesom Wike in Rivers State. He raises concerns about potential variations in project expenses and inflation rates affecting the project cost.

Aruviere Martin Egharhevwa (Esq)

According to Egharhevwa, “Flyover Bridges that former Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State built with N6.7bn each is what Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State is telling us that he will be spending N78bn on to build three flyovers using the same Julius Berger.

“Assuming without conceding that the value of USD and inflation has acted on the project cost. The inflation rate as at July is 24.6%. If you apply 24.6% on the value of Rivers State flyover the total cost will not give you N26bn per flyover.

“As usual with the very corrupt establishment in Asaba, the contract sum will be varied upwards from time to time as it was in the Asaba airport mega scam project by the Udguaghan-Okowa administration that was later sold to cronies for next to nothing in the name of concessioning, further alleged.

“It will interest you to know that whilst the former Gov. Wike administration spent N63bn to build NINE flyover bridges, Sheriff is set to spend N78bn to build THREE. The twelve flyovers built by the Wike administration were designed and constructed by the same Julius Berger”, he further said.

Meanwhile, Barr. Ejiro Etaghene advocates for a different approach, emphasizing the importance of creating link roads to address traffic issues and expand the mega city.

Barr. Ejiro Etaghene

Etaghene posited “Before you build the flyovers, think properly. Go to Effurun-Sapele road and dualize that Aziza road down to Osubi-Abraka road by Oka junction. Take the road across to the East-West Road through Agbarho. You would have solved all the traffic of vehicles going through the East-West Road to Sapele, Benin, and Lagos. This will create satellite towns on that axis.

“Two, dualize another road from that same Effurun-Sapele Road to link Niger Cat and across to Jeddo. Three, construct the Oviri-Okpe road from Orerokpe to the Amukpe-Agbor-Eku expressway. Dualize Afiesere Ughelli Junction through Isiokolo to Ekpan-Ovu to link the Amukpe-Agbor-Eku expressway. Once done, all the heavy trucks going to load petroleum products will no longer go through the Effurun roundabout. You would have reduced the pressure on the PTI junction as well as the DSC roundabout.

“What we need in Warri and Effurun is the creation of more roads to expand the mega city. The more roads you create, the more you expand the mega city and create satellite towns. This will turn that Sapele road into something else. The future of Delta State is on the Sapele road and the Ughelli road after Agbarho. We don’t need those flyovers now. We need link roads”, he averred.

Delta State’s bold investment in these flyover bridges and road expansion initiatives signifies a significant stride towards tackling its infrastructure challenges. While the choice of Julius Berger carries the promise of quality and punctuality, the state government must carefully navigate the concerns and expectations of its residents. The ultimate success of these projects will not solely be measured in reduced traffic congestion but also in the socio-economic growth they enable. As Delta State embarks on this ambitious journey, all eyes remain fixed on the promise of a brighter and better-connected future.

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