The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Steve Oru, has re-assured Nigerians that the East-West road will be completed before the end of the year.
Mr. Oru gave this assurance in Takum, Taraba, on Saturday where he attended the 60th birthday celebration of the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Ishaku.
He said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria that the road still remained the flagship project of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Mr. Oru said the Federal Government had pushed more money into the project beyond its budget through SURE-P and African Development Bank, AfDB.
He said the ministry expected $150 million from the AfDB and $20 million from SURE-P to fast track the completion of the road by December. .
”By January 2015, the road must have been completed and put into use to facilitate economic activities in the region.
“My strategy towards ensuring the realisation of this project by the end of this year is to ensure that the contractors handling the job are all paid effectively so as to meet up with time.
“I have also assured the contractors handling the job that money will be released to them through PPP (public Private Partnership) and SURE-P to facilitate the completion of the job,” Mr. Oru said.
The minister said that his administration would work to achieve rapid development in the region.
Mr. Ishaku as Supervising Minister of the ministry, had said that 70 per cent of job on the project had been executed after an assessment of work by the contractors.
He said that the Federal Government had committed N248 billion by March with funds drawn from the ministry’s annual budget, SURE-P, and AfDB loan.
He said the ministry had obtained a $300 million loan from AfDB and that 50 per-cent of the loan was released and committed to the 2013 financial year while the balance would be released within the year.