Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has been commended for his dogged efforts in road construction and rehabilitation in the State.
The Member representing Aniocha North State Constituency in the State House of Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi gave the commendation when the State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye appeared before the House Committee to defend the ministry’s proposed budget estimate for 2021 fiscal year.
Hon Emeka Nwaobi leading the House Committee at the budget defense session said that Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration’s giant strides in road infrastructure are unprecedented and worthy of commendation.
He restated the commitment of the state legislature to building quality road infrastructure in the state, while assuring the Works Ministry of adequate budgetary provision in order to fast track more road infrastructural development from the state government.
The Lawmaker said oversight functions would be sustained towards ensuring that projects were executed in line with specifications and best practices, even as he applauded the Ministry of Works for being instrumental in the realization of the Stronger Delta Agenda of the Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration in the State.
In his defence, Works Commissioner, Chief James Augoye said provision was made in the 2021 budget for the completion of ongoing road and storm water drainage projects, as well as rural, urban and regional development.
Chief Augoye stated that several road projects embarked upon in the three senatorial districts of the state would be vigorously pursued to completion, while some new projects would be introduced.
The Commissioner explained that the completion of the ongoing projects as well as introduction of new ones were carefully decided in order to impact on the benefiting communities and the people of the state with a view to enhancing job creation and boosting of economic activities.
On budget performance for 2020, Chief Augoye, said that a total sum of N15.4 billion was paid to various contractors handling ongoing and completed projects as at October 2020.
He said the figure represents 44.6 percent budget performance, adding that the performance would have been higher if not for the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Works Commissioner explained that the pandemic caused drastic drop in revenue accruing to the state, thereby necessitating the reappraisal of activities relating to road construction and payment of contractors.
He listed some of the challenges of the ministry to include unpredictable construction season due to global warming as well as inadequate budgetary provisions.
Other members of the Committee present at the budget defence meeting were Honorables Oboro Preyor, Emmanuel Sinebe and Ekpotuareyin Pullah.