Former Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State issued a bold challenge to RT. Hon. Sheriff and other governors during the Port Harcourt Ring Road groundbreaking ceremony on July 18, 2023, asserting that none of them possesses the courage and capability to secure a mammoth N195 billion contract like the one awarded to reputable construction company Julius Berger, with a staggering N150 billion already paid, while praising Governor Siminialayi Fubara for outperforming his counterparts in groundbreaking infrastructure projects nationwide.
The 50.1km dual-carriageway project, set to be completed within 36 months, spans six Local Government Areas and features six flyovers and a river crossing bridge. Its construction under the Fubara administration aims to connect various rural communities, enhance the landscape, and foster unity among the state’s residents.
Recounting his own experience, Wike reminisced about the unfulfilled promise by the previous administration of constructing the Ring Road, despite securing a substantial N100 billion funds.
In his words, “In 2007, 2008, one man was governor at a time in a month we got N100Billion. I was Chief of Staff. We put N100 billion in First Bank that we were going to do this road. Up till today, there is no Ring Road.”
He expressed astonishment that Governor Fubara, in just one month in office, had successfully awarded a N195 billion contract and promptly paid N150 billion, daring any governor in the country to match such audacity and financial capability. He pledged that Nigerians would be astounded by Fubara’s achievements within his first 100 days in office.
Wike also criticized the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for its failure to undertake the project, referring to the organization as a mere cash cow instead of a genuine development commission. He highlighted the potential transformation that could have been realized had the NDDC delivered similar projects in every state.
“Assuming NDDC has delivered this kind of project in every state, then you would have wondered what the Niger Delta would have become”, Wike further asserted.
Governor Fubara, in his remarks at the event, sought the cooperation of communities affected by the project and assured fair compensation for those affected by the road’s right of way. He emphasized that their commitment went beyond mere contract signing, as evident by their prompt payment and the commencement of construction. Fubara attributed the vision of the New Rivers to Wike, who played a pivotal role in unifying the people of Rivers State.
This monumental project undertaken by Governor Fubara is not only a wake-up call for Oborewori and other state governors to execute landmark projects, it signifies a remarkable milestone, defying conventional expectations and cementing his reputation as a transformative leader dedicated to the progress of Rivers State.