President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Saturday, commissioned the Obiri Ikwerre – Airport Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, constructed by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration.
Saraki also laid the foundation stone of the the Second Train of the Indorama Eleme Fertilizer Plant project, in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
While commissioning the road project, Saraki noted that development without built access and infrastructure would lead to decline in many areas of human endeavour, whereas, infrastructure in its own capacity can always be counted on to improve the economic, social, and developmental status of any community.
"That is why today’s commissioning of the Obiri Ikwerre – Airport Road is so significant; and I congratulate the people of this state for the greater access they and other Nigerians will enjoy as a result.
"From my interactions with the people of Rivers State, I have come to understand that this project is one that holds a special place in their hearts. Strategically, this project, the Obiri Ikwerre – Airport Road, will not only improve access but also free up the inner city and decongest connecting roads while reducing total travel time.
"Economically, the linkage between the Local, International Airport and the City comes with numerous advantages today that hitherto were impossible. Moreover, the beauty of this road and the ease it will bring, would be most appreciated during festive periods, as it will hold out more options for road users.
"For this and many other reasons, I have no doubt that this is a project that will set a mark as a lasting legacy amongst the many other impressive achievements of the state government," he said.
On the Indorama Eleme Fertilizer Plant project, Saraki commended Governor Wike for always being in the vanguard of laudable and economically viable initiatives in the state.
He said: "In a country with unprecedented poverty levels, the much needed emphasis on agriculture and agro-allied sector as a means of ensuring a trickle down effect of resources has been slow and far from forthcoming.
"Farmers do not have access to viable resources and lines of credit to grow their businesses and often times, the success and failure of such projects are heavily dependent on the availability of these core components.
"This is why building the right Public Private Partnership is advisable and important in order to: limit the line and logistical access between famers and fertilizer producers/plant; ensure a standard can stand the test of time; and ensure a project that would be able to compete internationally.
"Building on the successes of the Train-1, it is obvious that this segment will go the long mile in empowering farmers, creating employment, creating wealth, reducing the cost of fertilizer and subsequently eliminating same.
"It is my belief that the success of this project will lay the groundwork that other states can emulate across the agriculture value-chain, so as to not only strengthen their respective internally generated revenues but also create employment and support the agro movement in the country," he said.