The Delta Government and Nigerian Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) have signed a N3.2 billion contract for the execution of the Obomkpa and Ukwunzu gully erosion control projects in the state.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie, who signed on behalf of the state government, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Asaba.
Ebie said that the Obomkpa project would gulp about N1.5 billion, while N2.4 billion had been earmarked for the Ukwunzu project in Anoicha North Local Government Area.
He said that the state government had made a counterpart donation of about N800 million for the projects.
“Gully erosion is something that has troubled us for decades here in Delta State.
“We have over 100 gully erosion sites and working with NEWMAP, through the State Ministry of Environment, we are gradually dealing with these problems.
“As a responsive government, we will continue to attend to the needs of our citizens.
“In spite of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the downturn in the economy, we are still doing our best to ensure that critical projects are on course.
“We do hope that as we move closer to the end of the year, things will improve and we will be able to embark on more projects.
” However, this does not mean that we will not do what we ought to as a government to ameliorate the sufferings of the people,’’ he said.
Ebie thanked the World Bank and NEWMAP for partnering with the state government while expressing confidence in the contractors’ ability to handle the Obomkpa and Ukwunzu gully erosion projects in Anoicha North LGA.
Also, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba, said that the Owanta Gully Erosion Project earlier undertaken by the state government and NEWMAP was almost completed.
He gave assurance of the state government’s commitment to ameliorating the sufferings of Delta people.
Onogba urged the government to decentralise the process of obtaining funds from the ecological funds to ensure prompt attention is given to ecological challenges.
However, the State Coordinator, NEWMAP, Mr Isaac Ufiofio, said that the contractors of the project, Levante Construction and EmmyBless Construction emerged through transparent and competitive bidding.
He charged the contractors to ensure compliance with standards and time.
The Project Manager, Levante Construction Company, Mr Ghassan Fadel, assured that the company would deploy its resources to finish the projects before time.
Also, the Project Manager, EmmyBless Construction Company, Professor Arthur Essaghah, promised to leverage on international best practices in ensuring that the project was promptly delivered.