The future of our country, Nigeria depends largely on the quality of governance we have at the local, state and national levels.
The failure of the national government has never been better pronounced as in the inability of successive governments to complete the construction of the East-West Road, which is arguably, the most important road in Nigeria.
This road traverses the length and breadth of Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States that make up the oil and gas hub of Nigeria. Being the route by which vital hydrocarbon products and associated businesses are transported, it would be expected that the East – West Road would have been executed and constructed with all the seriousness it deserves.
It is disheartening to recall that anterior to former President Goodluck’s administration, moved the construction of the East West road to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs without accompanying it with the necessary funding.
Besides inadequate funding, there were many competing variables within the Niger Delta Ministry such as the Amnesty Programme, which Nigeria could not afford to neglect.
It was heartwarming to behold President Muhammadu Buhari promising to prioritise the completion of the East-West Road, even as he is preparing his handover notes.
Something has definitely gone awry with our value chain in this country. The East-West road which links many oil facilities and industries is left to rot, while financial resources that would have been channeled towards its completion are being diverted to other less strategic and important projects.
The sorry state of the road has consigned the Niger Delta into a kidnappers haven, making life unbearable for the average Niger Deltan and other Nigerians plying the ill-fated road.
Another tortuous and harrowing experience meted to the people of the Niger Delta is the series of road accidents daily recorded on the East West Road.
In addition, the 2022 floods damaged parts of the East-East road just after the Ahoada axis. Youth groups and civil society groups have also ventilated their grievances over the neglect by the federal government of the horrible state of the road at the Eleme axis.
By way of managing the looming crisis, the federal government used optics as it were to mesmerize the activists and the locals by mobilizing equipment to site but alas, there is little or nothing to give the locals palpable hope. The NDDC claims that minimal work was done on the Ahoada section of the East-West road which we understand is on the verge of disintegration.
The entire sordid episode regarding the East-West road leaves a sour taste. It is for this reason that the federal government must rise up to its responsibility by prioritising the completion of the East – West road.
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