Eric Eweke, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described as commendable the listing of the Nembe-Brass Road among federal projects under the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Road Tax Scheme by the Federal Government.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting last week named the long-conceived federal road among 44 other selected projects to be constructed in partnership with the NNPCL.
Governor Diri in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, said after several letters and visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on this and other projects in the state that require federal intervention and partnership, it was gratifying that the Federal Government decided to earmark the road for construction.
The governor equally commended the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is a former governor of the state, for his role in ensuring the project got the FEC nod.
During a visit to President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in October 2022, Governor Diri sought the support and collaboration of the Federal Government to develop infrastructure in the state.
He stated that “being the most littoral and riverine of all the 36 states in the country, Bayelsa grapples with very peculiar environmental challenges. This places greater burden on the cost of infrastructural development.”
He said his administration was solely constructing the three senatorial roads in the state, which are all federal-conceived projects, designed to terminate at the Atlantic Ocean due to their importance to Bayelsans and the country.
They include the Yenagoa-Ogbia-Nembe-Brass Road (Bayelsa East), Yenagoa-Angiama-Oporoma-Ukubie Road (Bayelsa Central) and Sagbama-Ekeremor-Agge Road (Bayelsa West).
The Diri administration had in June last year flagged off and commenced construction of the Nembe-Brass road. The first phase covering 21 kilometres and 10 bridges is expected to gulp N54.01 billion.
During his visit to the President, Governor Diri also sought his invention to correct the injustice done the state in the controversial revocation and re-allocation of the state-owned Atala oilfield licence (OML 46) to another party
He equally expressed the willingness of the state to hand over the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU) to the Federal Government to cover the South-South region in furtherance of the President’s policy to establish six new Federal Universities of Medical Sciences and Bio-Medical Technology across the six geo-political zones.