Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has called for the upward review of the current 13 per cent derivation formula to the oil-producing states.
Mr Obaseki made the call on Tuesday shortly after inaugurating the Effurun-Otor-Ovwor-Olomu Bridge and the rehabilitated 34 km Otu-Jeremi-Okwagbe Road in Ughelli South Local GovernmentArea of Delta State.
The governor said the current 13 per cent allocation by the Federal Government was inadequate for the development of the Niger Delta region.
The governor said the terrain in the South-south had made it quite expensive to develop infrastructure, especially roads.
Mr Obaseki commended his Delta counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, on the number of projects being executed in the state.
He said Mr Okowa would do better, if more funds were made available to the state.
Mr Obaseki said the inaugurated bridge and road projects would enhance the economy of the communities and also connect them to other parts of the state.
He described Mr Okowa as a brilliant leader who understood the importance of roads and other infrastructure in the economic development of the communities.
“Governor Okowa has moved up from ‘road master’ to ‘bridge master.’
“He is a champion of modern day democracy and represents the ideals of great leadership, particularly with the quality of work he does with the derivation funds.
“Okowa is not only building physical bridges but also social, economic and community bridges,” he said.
Mr Obaseki pledged the sustenance of the age-long relationship between Delta and Edo, assuring that he would invite Mr Okowa to inaugurate projects in Edo State very soon.
In his remarks, Governor Okowa said the Effurun-Otor-Ovwor Bridge was one of the major demands of the people when he visited the communities in 2015.
He said the vision of his administration was to connect Delta communities with roads, bridges and other basic amenities.
Mr Okowa added that his administration had awarded no fewer than 500 road projects, with many already completed.
The governor commended the contractor handling the projects, Obakpor Engineering Limited, and assured that he would deliver on the Ovwor Hospital project in 2022.
“Today, I believe that my joy knows no bounds because we have truly brought joy to the people of Ovwor-Olomu/Effurun-Otor.
“We are currently continuing on the Trans-Warri road with several bridges and it is our hope that we will complete that project leading to Ode-Itsekiri in the course of our tenure.
“The Ayakoromo Bridge is still undergoing construction, the Orere Bridge in Ewu kingdom has just started,” he said.
A traditional ruler, the Okobaro of Ughievwen Kingdom, Matthew Egbi, Ohwahwa 11, thanked Governor Okowa for “transforming” the communities of Otu-Jeremi, Eyara, Imode, Oginibo, Okwagbe and other communities in Ughelli South.
“Ughievwen Kingdom is an investors’ haven, a major contributor to the nation’s oil and gas assets,” the traditional ruler said.
Also speaking, Orovworere of Effurun-Otor Kingdom, Johnson Duke, described Mr Okowa as a listening governor, who would always act on genuine demands of the people.
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