By Ignatius Ushie
The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, (MNDA), and its stakeholders have taken proactive steps to manage the East West Road Corridor to ensure its safety, efficiency and economy to aid development and growth in the region.
The Director of Urban Development, Tpl. Olufemi Oloruntola made this known at the wrap-up meeting of the first tour of counterparts on the Complementary Programme held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently.
He said the programme is aimed at rallying counterparts to manage the road corridor from unimpeded movement of goods and passengers. He added that the counterpart team has come together to plan and control what happens on the corridor.
Tpl. Oloruntola explained that the initiative is in line with the resolve of the leadership of the MNDA to have closer engagement with states along the corridor to ensure that from Effurun in Warri, Delta State to Oron in Akwa Ibom State and on to Calabar in Cross River State, transit is safe, timely and efficient.
Speaking further, he said the Federal Government has spent billions of Naira in the construction of East West road and therefore cannot be left to be compromised by haphazard development along the corridor, which have bedeviled other federal highways.
In her presentation, the Director Road Transport, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Ehigie Agalasi commended the MNDA for such laudable initiative and said the transport sector is indispensable in the overall development of the nation.
According to her “it is only when an adequate and efficient transport system is established that other sectors can grow” adding that an investment in transport translates to an investment in other sectors of the economy.
She explained that the Ministry of Transport has initiated the development of transit parks in some designated areas to eliminate indiscriminate parking of vehicles by drivers, especially trucks along the major highways across the country
Mrs Ehigie further explained more on the importance of the Transport sector to livelihood and its benefit to the people.
In his contribution, the Assistant Director Infrastructure MNDA, Engr. Osahon Idemudia advised on the need to undertake a survey to establish the Corridor Right of Way and sensitize the people to it.
The team of Counterparts after the tour of the corridor concluded that there is need for transit parks, relocation of Market along the corridor, immediate steps to preserve the uncompromised sections of the Corridor, and the desilting of block drains on the corridor within municipalities amongst other issues.
The counterparts team therefore produced a Communiqué and Advisory Notes which will be forwarded to the Honourable Minister for onward presentation to the participating states.