National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Tuesday urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru, to give priority to the completion of the East-West Road project in the Niger Delta region.
He made the call when the Minister paid a courtesy visit to the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun lamented that despite huge funds sunk into the East-West Road by successive administrations since 2006, the 338km dual carriage road, which traverses towns in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta States, remains uncompleted.
He said: “You have one of the most challenging and strategic assignment as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. The Niger Delta is an area that had been steeped in unrest. You must ensure that the unrest does not arise again.
“You have the East-West Road which is a major challenge. It will be a significant achievement for this administration if the project is completed. The project will go a long way in assuring the region that this government is working in their interest”.
The contract for the construction of the East-West Road, which was first awarded in 2006, was initially divided into four sections, but late 2014, a fifth section – covering Oron (Akwa Ibom) to Calabar in Cross River State – was added to it.
In his response, Mr. Uguru said the ministry under his watch was poised to contribute to the achievement of the APC’s Change Agenda for the country and also bringing sustainable development to the Niger Delta area.
He also promised to give priority to the completion of the East-West road.
Meanwhile, the APC is planning to organize a three-day policy dialogue tentatively scheduled for March 2016.
According to Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, the policy dialogue will bring together party leaders, government and relevant stakeholders to exchange ideas and proffer solutions to guide the country out of the challenges facing the country, particular the economy.