The Oasis Reporters
February 11, 2022
..road connects two LGAs
The Edo State Government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and other partners have flagged off the 16.7km Ikpako-Ajoki Road project in Ovia North East and Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Areas of the state.
Speaking after the flag-off of the road project, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said the road project would open up the areas to economic development activities.
He noted, “We are making history not just because we are constructing another road; we have constructed so many roads in Edo State, but this road is special. Before now, we used to suffer the embarrassment of accessing Edo communities from Delta State.
“With this road, we can now access all the Edo communities in this region. This road is going to be an economic road because it is connecting oil-producing communities. Not just the communities but the activities that these companies bring. We are likely to see a road that will now begin to bring in more than just agricultural produce. It will also boost oil and gas production. This road is very unique in terms of the way we conceived it and it gives us hope.”
Obaseki continued, “This road is a joint venture and collaboration between Edo State Government, Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC) and ENAGEED Resource Ltd, which is a partner to NNPC. The Edo State Government brought 30 percent, EDSOGPADEC brought 30 percent and ENAGEED is bringing 40 percent.
“But this is not just about the money, it is the way we have come together in securing the contract for the road projects. It shows that our procurement in the state is of international standard because it meets the same standards NNPC uses in procuring their infrastructure.”
According to him, “Why this is important to us and to me personally is its unique structure. We tried to use this method about two years ago with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the Benin-Abraka Road. We proposed the same financing agreement. We established bank accounts, signed agreements and NDDC failed us.
“We didn’t believe that this kind of structure can work. But we are now working with the NNPC and partners on the same financing structure and flagging off this road project today with the funds for this road project already in the bank, which gives us lots of hope and courage.
“Before now, the bulk of infrastructural development was done by the government but today you can see that we are creating innovative ways in partnering with the private sector and the federal government to create infrastructure.”
“This is just the beginning. The best is yet to come. Let me assure Ikpako, Obateru, Evbuorokho, Abiala, Kolokolo, Ajamokha and Ajoki communities that we have already started the design of the road from Gelegele to connect Ekehuan Road and we are going to accelerate that work because of this one so that you will not have challenges in coming to the city,” the governor assured.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari said the gesture is part of efforts to support communities to scale up national development.
The representative of the communities, Mr. Collins Ogbeide, expressed appreciation to the governor and the partners for the initiative, noting that the road project, when completed, will attract development and improve economic activities in the areas.