Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called on the House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta to prevail on the Federal Government to expedite action on the completion of the East-West road project to ease vehicular movement and reduce carnage on the road.
Gov Dickson made the call, when the House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta led by its Chairman, Mr. Essien Ekpeyong-Ayi, paid him a courtesy call in Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo urged the committee to ensure its report reflects the state of abandonment and under-development of the Niger Delta region and particularly Bayelsa State, stressed the need for the federal government to generate funds to complete the Bayelsa section of the East-West Road awarded more than 12 years ago, as well as other road projects in the region.
Lamenting that, Bayelsa has been left alone by the federal government to fend for itself, the Governor noted that, the Niger Delta has no reason to be marginalized considering its significant contributions to the national economy.
His words: “Our country left our region behind and we feel it more in this state even within the Niger Delta. This state is more deltaic than Delta state and more riverine than Rivers state and yet we are left to solely fend for our development such that today, we can’t get to Brass, Koluama, Ekeremor, Agge and Oporoma”.
While appreciating the lawmakers for the visit, Governor Dickson decried the absence of federal projects in the region, capable of transforming the area, stressing that, Bayelsa could not be compared to other states in the region, in terms of development, despite the level of crude oil exploration and exploitation activities in the State.
“It is very clear that the federal government is not aware of the developmental challenges in this region”
According to him, Bayelsa is embarking on a revolution in the areas of education, economy, healthcare, tourism among others, noting that, the state is the most peaceful among Niger Delta states and is at peace with itself and with the rest of the country.
Earlier, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta, Mr. Essien Ekpeyong-Ayi , explained that the committee is in the State as part of its oversight functions to the Niger Delta region to access the level of implementation of projects within the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Describing the non- completion of the East-West Road project as an embarrassment, he expressed the committee’s commitment to the completion of the project, assuring that, budgetary provision would be made for it by next year.
“We have seen the different sections of the road and other projects that have not been funded since 2012 and 2013, some don’t even have budgetary provisions in this present budget”.
“Our coming here before consideration of the budget has given us a real insight of the problems in the Niger Delta region as it concerns the progress of the Ministry of Niger Delta.”
Mr. Ekpeyong-Ayi urged Governor Dickson and other governors in the region to help pressurize the federal government to release funds for the completion of the East-West road, which is a strategic gateway to the region.
Governor Dickson also received commendation for his numerous contributions to the stability of Nigeria and the judicious use of scarce resources for development of Bayelsa and its people.