Senate begins investigation into non-completion of East-West road since 2006


The Senate has established a special committee to conduct an inquiry into the repeated failures of successive governments to complete the East-West road since 2006. The decision was made following the adoption of a motion during a plenary session on Tuesday, which emphasized the urgent necessity of constructing the Onne and Eleme communities section of the East-West road.

Senator Mpigi Barinada, representing the PDP-Rivers, sponsored the motion, highlighting the need for investigation into the ongoing challenges surrounding the project’s completion and infrastructure development in the specified regions.

During his opening statement, Mr. Barinada highlighted the government’s decision to explore alternative sources of funding for crucial national projects, which has contributed to the development of infrastructure in the country.

He emphasized the importance of initiatives such as private sector partnerships, SUKUK funds, and the NNPCL Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme in driving national growth. Mr. Barinada specifically drew attention to the 7km section of the Federal Government trunk A road, a vital economic route in the Niger-Delta region that connects the Eleme-Ogoni corridor and links the South-South, South-East, and Western parts of Nigeria.

He expressed concern that despite significant investments in the project, the road remains unfinished. Mr. Barinada stressed that abandoning such a critical national project would result in hardship, neglect, and increased suffering for the people.

Mr. Barinada also emphasized the importance of considering the potential loss of revenue resulting from the abandonment of the project. He pointed out that the road corridor is home to critical infrastructure and industries, including two refineries, two petrochemical industries, an Oil and Gas Economic Free Zone, a Deep-Sea Port NPA, and numerous other businesses.

These entities generate substantial revenue for the nation, making it crucial to complete the road to ensure the continuous flow of economic activities and revenue generation.

Mr. Barinada further stressed the need to consider the negative social and economic impact caused by the abandonment of the road, which has adversely affected the well-being of the affected communities and posed potential risks to human lives and the local economy.

In response to the motion, the Senate resolved to establish an ad-hoc committee. The committee will invite key stakeholders, including the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Works and Housing, Niger-Delta Affairs, Petroleum Resources, and Finance, Budget, and National Planning. The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd and the Managing Director of RCC Construction Company, along with any other relevant stakeholders, will be invited to provide detailed information on the reasons for the prolonged delays and abandonment of the project.

The committee will also seek information on the current status of the contract, progress made so far, challenges faced by the contractor, and measures to address the socio-economic impact on the affected communities. Additionally, the stakeholders will be expected to present plans, timelines, and strategies to ensure the project’s completion within a reasonable timeframe.

The Senate emphasized the importance of prioritizing the East-West road project and allocating necessary resources and support to expedite its completion. The ad-hoc committee will be chaired by Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi), with several other senators listed as members of the committee, including Sen. Osita Ugwu, Sen. Sharafadeen Alli, Sen. Adams Oshiomole, Sen. Abubakar Sadik, and Sen. Mpigi Barinada, among others.

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