Thursday, August 8, 2019 3:04 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Ports Harcourt
Concerned motorists and the Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Hon. Philip Okparaji have raised alarm over imminent collapse of the Aleto Bridge along the East-West road in Rivers State.
The local Government Chairman said Aleto Bridge, is the only link road to all the four local Government areas in Ogoniland like Tai, Gokana and Khana local Government areas and only route to over 200 companies, therefore, it is a matter of urgency for the bridge to be fixed.
Aleto Bridge along the Eleme axis of the East-West road is also the link road to Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River States in addition to over 200 companies operating in Eleme local Government area, especially the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority,Onne, Nigerian Ports Authority,NPA, Federal Ocean Terminal, FOT and Federal Lighter Terminal,Port Harcourt Refinery, Ndoroma Petrochemical Company among others.
The Eleme local Government boss also expressed frustration that he had officially written to the State, Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, among others to urgently fix the bridge before it collapses.
The collapse of the bridge, he noted, will not only claim innocent lives, but will also affect economic activities of the aforementioned areas.
“I have written to relevant authorities on the state of the Aleto Bridge that can collapse any moment from now. As a local Government Council, we do not the kind of resources to fix the bridge. We are,therefore, calling relevant authorities to urgently because Aleto Bridge is like a dynamite waiting to explode,”Okparaji warned.
Also speaking when he led his Vice, Hon. Grace Osaronu and other Council officials on a visit to the management of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), the chairman lamented the deplorable state of the East -West Road, urging the Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority to do something quick on the bridge to avoid disaster.
He called on all the companies in the Onne Oil & Gas Free Zone and others outside to come together to see how the situation could be remedied since they have no alternative route if the bridge collapses.
Responding, the Managing Director, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), represented by the company’s Head of Operations and Technical Service, Mr. Adekunle Ajayi expressed the readiness of the Free Zone Authority to work with the local government council regarding all the issues raised.
Regarding the road and bridge, he said they were ready to synergize with other companies to ensure the road is fixed.
Also, during a one day Sensitization Programme on Communicating Government Policies, Programmes and Activities organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Chairman also lamented the state of the bridge.
He pleaded that the Onne Port be revamped so that there will be increase in employment opportunities.
According to him, except there is an immediate action from the Federal Government, vehicular as well as pedestrian movements along the Eleme-end of the East-West road may soon ground to a halt over the deplorable state of the Aleto Bridge linking Akpajo and Aleto, two communities in Eleme local government, Rivers State.