Governor Diri justifies Bayelsa’s Position on high cost of project execution

Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri has said Federal Government had witnessed firsthand the comparatively high cost of executing infrastructural projects in the state.

Governor Diri stated this at the official inauguration and handover ceremony of the Federal Secretariat in Yenagoa, which is named after former President Goodluck Jonathan whose administration started the project back in twenty-eleven.

Represented at the ceremony by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor noted that the cost of constructing a kilometre of standard road in Bayelsa is required to construct four or more kilometers of the same grade of road elsewhere in the country.

He noted that the Goodluck Jonathan Federal Secretariat which was initially pegged for two point five billion naira had to undergo a cost variation after the twenty-twelve catastrophic flood and was completed at a total cost of three point one billion naira.

Governor Diri expressed hope that with this experience, the Federal Government would henceforth be more cautious in matters of project cost evaluation and execution in Bayelsa State.

The Governor commended the President Muhammad Buhari-led administration for completing key infrastructural projects it inherited from the administration of former President Jonathan across the country.

The Bayelsa Chief Executive, however, pointed out that the outgoing President did not initiate any new project in Bayelsa throughout his eight years in office.

Earlier in his remarks at the virtual inauguration ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari, noted that the successful completion of the secretariat projects in Yenagoa, Awka and Gusau would save the Federal Government from the expenditure of renting office accommodation for its workers in the three states.

The Dr Goodluck Jonathan Federal Secretariat Project in Yenagoa, which was handled by MS Trenur Nigeria Limited has a total of three hundred and forty-two offices including a post office, a banking hall and a standard conference hall named after another illustrious son of Bayelsa State, Ambassador Godknows Igali.

Bayelsa State Government is to undertake some quick-win projects across various constituencies alongside the ongoing big-ticket projects to fast-track development.
State Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo who stated this at a meeting with key stakeholders in Brass Constituencies One, Two and Three, in Government House, Yenagoa, explained that the essence of interaction is to assess areas of their needs to enable government address such challenges.
The state’s number two man said while the Prosperity Administration was handling construction of key projects such as the three senatorial roads, it has become imperative to also provide immediate interventions in projects that would impact directly on the people across communities.
He charged Chairmen of Community Development Committees (CDC) in the constituencies to work closely with other community leaders and to take responsibility of ensuring peace as well as stability in their domains.
Reacting to issues of lack of teachers in schools across communities, the Deputy Governor, called on CDC chairmen to work with other stakeholders to monitor schools and submit a monthly report to His office and the Ministry of Education about teachers who fail to report at their duty posts.
He stressed that henceforth, teachers posted to community schools who abandon their duty posts would face disciplinary measures.
On issues of ocean surge and erosion affecting most communities, Deputy Governor Ewhrudjakpo said the problem is beyond the state government and would require the collaborative efforts of the federal government to tackle the situation.
He also directed that a delegation led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr.
Pabara Igwele should visit Ewoama community within the week to ascertain the status of the health facility and come up with a report.

On his part, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere lauded the state government’s decision to get first hand information from the people about their challenges, saying it is the first of its kind.
Mr. Ingobere, who acknowledged that the present administration has worked hard particularly in infrastructure development, however, noted that communities needed a fair spread of government projects.
The speaker also identified lack of security, internal roads, town halls, pipe borne water, electricity supply and health centres as major problems bedevilling the people.
In a remark, Chairman, Bayelsa State Science and Technology Board, Professor Ayibaemi Spiff, traced the lack of teachers particularly science-based ones to the absence of accommodation and incentives while urging the state government to make concerted efforts to enhance teachers’ welfare.
In their separate remarks, the various stakeholders including the political class and CDC chairmen from the three constituencies, lamented absenteeism on the part of teachers and health workers in most of their communities.
Their requests ranged from provision of landing jetties, electricity, construction of link roads, health and school infrastructure, police stations, lodges for teachers and youth corps members to the construction of shoreline protection in Odioma and other coastal communities in the area against ocean encroachment.
Some government officials who made submissions at the meeting include, Member representing Brass Constituency one at the State House of Assembly, Hon Charles Daniel, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Dr Ebieri Jones, Special Duties (East), Hon. Preye Broderick and their Lands and Survey counterpart, Hon. Andrew Esau.
Others are the Governor’s Special Representative in Brass LGA, Hon Bemoye Pogonyo, a member, Local Government Service Commission, Hon Uroh Kian, and the Acting Caucus Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Brass, His Royal Highness Moses Kenibara.