The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), at the weekend inaugurated 969. 4 metres’ long Rebisi Dual Carriage Flyover Bridge in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Fashola commended “the massive urban regeneration and renewal programme of the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.
The Rebisi Flyover Bridge is one of the five overhead bridge projects started simultaneously in the state by governor Wike.
The minister, who toured the bridge in company with Wike, said such development efforts would promote peace, tourism and return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status.
Fashola, who earlier toured the Rumuogba, Okoro-Nu-Odu, Rumuola and GRA Junction flyovers, said: “What I witnessed is a massive urban regeneration and urban renewal of Port Harcourt”.
He said ministers were mandated to support the developmental initiative and aspiration of every state in the country adding that it was the reason the Federal Government took a decision to refund money spent on federal roads by states.
He said the first tranche of refund was about N577bn, while the second tranche, for which, Rivers State was a beneficiary, was N148bn.
He said: “In the second tranche, it was five states. Out of those five states, I think only two were APC states and it was a total of N148bn and Governor Nyesom Wike and Rivers State got lion share. He got N78bn. Don’t sit here and think he has received N78bn, he still has to go to National Assembly because this is part of Nigeria borrowing plan”.
Fashola commended Wike for naming the Rebisi Flyover, located at Garrison Junction, after the community.
“This place use to be known as Garrison. But, clearly as we begin to shed our military toga and our democracy ages and deepen, we will see a rebirth in our unity, our oneness and our shared developmental aspiration” he said.
In his remarks, Wike said when the state government flagged off the Rebisi, Okoro-Nu-Odu and Rumuogba flyovers simultaneously in October 2019, many sceptics questioned the possibility of the completing the projects within the estimated timeframe of 16 months.
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He explained that the contractor, Julius Berger, worked assiduously, even during the COVID-19 lockdown, just to ensure that the projects were delivered on time.
“By December, we have to commission Okoro-Nu-Odu flyover. By February, we have to commission Rumuogba and Rumuola; by March-April, we will commission the GRA flyover”, he said.
Wike expressed satisfaction that his administration was able to fulfil the promise of constructing five flyovers with one of them achieved in 12 months.
The governor said the flyover bridge by CFC/Corpus Christi bus stop would be expanded to make it the sixth flyovers project under construction in the state.
The governor, who noted the leadership role played by Fashola in the assessment of the application for refund of money spent on federal projects, appealed that the money spent on the new flyover projects should be considered for a refund.
The governor frown on the refusal of traders to obey government’s directive not to display their wares along the roads said he would sign an executive order to discourage the practice.
He said any landlord, who allowed traders to displays wares for sales in front on their buildings after the order would forfeit them to government because they would be acquired for public use.
Rivers Commissioner for Works , Mr. Eloka Tasie-Amadi said when the Rebisi Flyover Bridge was flagged off on the 24 October 2019 and was to be delivered in 16 months but it was achieved within 12 months.
He said the project improved the aesthetics of the city, enhance traffic flow, relief transport time, eradicate traffic conflict at the junction and reduce vehicular damage that bad roads cause.