Rivers: Peep into the future

By Henry Umahi

It is not for nothing that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is referred to as Mr Projects.  Since he became governor six years ago, he has demonstrated an uncommon zeal to transform the entire state and return the capital, Port Harcourt, to its original status of Garden City.

As the Wike administration clocks six years in office, it is commissioning additional 16 legacy projects.   It will also flag off the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Treatment Centre and 22 others. 

In a statement, the Commissioner for Information and Communications in the state, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said: “Rivers State Government will from Thursday, May 27, 2021 begin another round of commissioning of projects to commemorate the second anniversary of the second tenure of Governor Nyesom Wike.

“Some of the legacy projects include the Cassava Flour Processing Plant, Oyibo, Mother and Child Hospital, Rumuomasi, Opobo/Nkoro Road, Odufor-Umuoye Road, Etche, Umueze-Umuogberi-Eberi Road, Omuma and the Rehabilitation Centre, Iriebe.

“Other projects include the National Industrial Court Judges Quarters, Rivers State University (RSU) Senate Building, Isaiah Odolu Street, GRA, Herbert Macaulay/Nzimiro Streets, Rumuigbo Street and William Jumbo/Ernest Ikoli/Eleme Streets, Old GRA.

“Community Secondary Schools at Obiagu, Oyigbo and Eteo, Eleme, National Union of Rivers State Students Secretariat and Pabod Breweries/Oginiba Roads are also billed for commissioning.

“Projects scheduled for flag off include, Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Treatment Centre, Rumueprikom Flyover, Trans-Kalabari Road, Bori-Kono Road, Aluu-OmagwaRoad,new campuses of RSU at Emohua, Etche and Ahoada as well as projects at Nigerian Law School, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

“Other projects are, Government Secondary School, Kpor, Gokana, Ogbunabali/Eastern Bye-pass Road, Ogbakiri Internal Roads, Omerelu Internal Roads and Abonnema/Obonoma sand filling.

“Woji-Aleto-Alesa Road, Mgbuitanwo Roads, Okochiri Internal Roads, Okrika sand filling, reconstruction of Government House Jetty and foundation laying ceremony of the new University of Port Harcourt Convocation Arena will also feature during the period.

“The anniversary activities will be rounded off with the governor’s account of his stewardship for the past six years on July 8, 2021.

“Some members of the Federal Executive Council and other prominent Nigerians are expected to serve as special guests of honour at the various events.”

Although the scorecard of the Wike administration in the last two years has been replete with outstanding achievements, ground breaking events and the initiation of legacy projects which have not only transformed the landscape of the state impressively but also ensured the comprehensive sustenance of the well-being of the people in line with the development blue-print released for the second term in office, which reiterated the commitment and determination of the administration to work and serve Rivers people as if it was still the administration’s first term.

Investigation reveals that virtually every area and sector has been positively impacted upon. Yet, there are expectations of things to come in the nearest future. 

According to sources in the ministry of works, “within the next two years, our capital city would be transformed, several coastal roads would be delivered, such as the 43km Andoni/Opobo Unity Road which has 11 bridges, the 13.4km Trans Kalabari Road, the 19.6km dualization of Omoku-Egbema Road, Abua-Agba Ndele Bridge,  Ogbakiri Internal Roads in Emohua LGA, Omerelu Internal roads in Ikwerre LGA, our 6 ongoing flyovers would be completed,  Ahoada-Omoku Road Phase 1,  the 17km Dualized Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road Phase 2, Mbiama-Okarki Road, Odufor-Umuoye Road along with several other roads in various Local Govt Areas. We can sum it up by saying that the over 48 projects currently ongoing would be completed along with those which are scheduled to commence before the end of 2021.

“We consider and recognize that our roads as long term infrastructural investments consequently they are built to last. We consider and recognize that our roads as long term infrastructural investments consequently they are built to last.”

In the housing sector, it is expected that the on-going projects will be completed and commissioned. Consolidation of the gains so far achieved shall be the focus of the ministry, especially in the areas of project maintenance.

The Rivers State Ministry of Justice is embarking on the collation, revision and   publication of all extant Laws of Rivers State in a new edition of the Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria. This will enhance easy access to the laws of the state and the dispensation of justice. Work on this project has progressed significantly.

In the next two years, the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture is expecting that the challenges facing the ministry will be mitigated through the intervention of the governor, donor agencies and monetary provisions through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and that the public will be gainfully engaged in robust farming in all the LGAs. 

Also on the pipeline is the signing into law the reviewed Rivers State Physical Planning & Development Law; engage tank farm developers to synergy with the ministry in order to regulate their activities the state; declaration of planning areas especially in the unplanned and emerging developments areas and the areas were sand filling/reclamation activities are being carried out; full implementation of change-of-use/purpose clause within the old neighbourhoods so as to develop policy that will guide these changes.

It is also expected that before the end of Wike’s administration, the urban water sector reform and Port Harcourt water supply & sanitation project consisting of rehabilitation, upgrade and extension of water supply system for Port Harcourt & Obio-Akpor LGAs would be completed; the state government would embark on the rehabilitation and completion of the following Water Schemes: Abua Pumping Station, Ahoada Pumping Station, Bonny Pumping Station, Degema Pumping Station, Isiokpo Pumping Station, Ogbakiri Pumping Station, Okehi Pumping Station, Aluu Pumping Station, Ndoni Pumping Station, Okomoko Pumping Station and Okrika (Mainland) Pumping Station, etc.

In the heath sector, the completion and commissioning of all projects by this administration are expected. These include

the commissioning of the cardiovascular and renal hospital at Rumeme; passage of the Rivers State Contributory Protection Programme (RIVCHPP) into law and its operationalization would reduce high out- of pocket expenses.

Also expected is a reorganized social welfare ministry with modern facilities, better service delivery, reduced sexual based violence cases, support for mentally challenged inmates, re-integration of rehabilitated inmates to the society, efficient child justice system and adequate shelter, care and protection for victims of violence.

The Ministry of Sports has commenced the process of rejigging the Rivers State Sports Festival, completion of Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, and movement of the Rivers State Sports Council (RSSC) to the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex as approved by Wike.

There are competing interest in the finances of the Rivers State government. Unfortunately, the private sector is not doing enough in the sponsorship and/or partnership with government to promote and develop sports in the state.

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