Bayelsa State Government has restated its commitment to commencement of work on the Nembe-Brass Senatorial roadproject in line with its policy of completing inherited projects across the state.
Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo made this known when a group, Progressives of the Central Senatorial District of Bayelsa State, paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Government House, Yenagoa, a statement by his media aide, Doubara Atasi, said on Friday.
According to Ewhrudjakpo, the state government hads already suggested that the Nembe-Brass Road will be funded under what is known as Tax Infrastructure Rebate Project to enable multinational companies to enjoy tax holiday during the period of its construction.
Ewhrudjakpo explained that abandoning any meaningful inherited project was tantamount to wasting the scarce resources of the state.
He said the government’s desire was to ensure that the Nembe-Brass Road continue at the same pace with the ongoing Sagbama-Ekeremor and Yenagoa-Oporoma road projects.
He said the Governor Douye Diri-led government had already taken some far-reaching steps towards the take-off of the Nembe-Brass Senatorial road project.
The steps, according to Ewhrudjakpo, included the redesigning of the project as well as completion of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) to mitigate its effect on the area.
But considering the capital-intensive nature of the project, he disclosed that government had entered talks with the Federal Ministry of Finance on possible ways to involve multinational oil companies operating in the area in funding the multi-billion naira project.
He commended the group for their steadfastness, courage and show of true statesmanship, and assured them of the present administration’s readiness to work with them.
He said: “On the issue of the Nembe-Brass Road that you raised, clearly there were some issues about it. But we have almost sorted them out. The only problem we have is that resources are not available.
“But we are still working hard. If you will recall, just recently we have started talking to the Federal Ministry of Finance to do what we call Tax Infrastructure Rebate Project.
“So, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Shell Petroleum Development Company and AITEO Group and all other companies operating within that area will have a tax holiday in exchange for helping us to construct the road. That process is on because we don’t have all the resources.”
Speaking on behalf of the group, Charles Ambaiowei lauded the government for keeping faith with the aspirations of founding fathers of the state by continuing the senatorial road projects.
Ambaiowei, who is a former Commissioner for Works in the state, advised the present administration to do what he called, “holistic planning for the state” and give equal attention to all the three senatorial roads.
In another development, Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has announced a cash reward of N1m each to 30 retired permanent secretaries in the state.
Diri said the cash gift was a token appreciation from the government for their meritorious service to the state and the nation.
The Bayelsa governor, who stated this on Thursday evening at a send-off organised by the Bayelsa State Permanent Secretaries Forum in Yenagoa, appealed to the former top civil servants to make themselves available whenever they were called upon to serve in future.
Source:- The Nation