The 600-metre bridge across the Qua Iboe River in Akwa Ibom State, built by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been completed and would be officially handed over to the benefiting communities soon.
Inspecting the 6.7-kilometre Iko-Atabrikang-Opolom-Iwuo Achang road and the 600-metre bridge on Friday, the acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Dr. Christy Atako, said she was satisfied with the quality of the road and the long-span bridge.
She said that it was good to hear from the contractor that the project did not only bring physical development but was also used to train the youths in the surrounding communities in metal works, carpentry and other artisan skills.
After inspecting the bridge, the NDDC boss pointed out some defects on the road, which she charged the contractor to rectify as quickly as possible. She also observed that the road did not extend to some of the inland communities after the bridge.
Engr. Samuel Eruohi, the project manager of Viche Nigeria ltd., the indigenous contractor that executed the project, assured the NDDC Chief Executive Officer that the portions of the road that were scraped for resurfacing would be fixed as soon as the weather permits. He said that all other remedial works would be completed in the next two weeks.
Dr. Atako also inspected three other NDDC projects in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. They included two university hostels at the University of Uyo and the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital. They are among the 18 prototype hostels being built by the commission in universities across the Niger Delta.
At the University of Uyo hostel, the site engineer, Mr. Sunday Thomas Akpan said that they were having challenges with the external works because of the topography of the site. “We need to do a lot of excavation to lower the ground surrounding the building to effectively drain water from the court-yard of the hostel,” he said.
Similarly, the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital hostel had not made satisfactory progress in the assessment of the acting Managing Director. She, however, said that in spite of the slow pace of work at the site, all hope was not lost as “we are going to insist that the contractor meets NDDC standards.”