By Ovasa Ogaga,
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday called for an upward review of the 13% derivation formula, noting that the current figure has remained inadequate in tackling the developmental needs of the South-South region.
Obaseki stated this while speaking with newsmen after inaugurating Effurun-Otor-Ovwor-Olomu bridge and the rehabilitated 34-km Otu-Jeremi-Okwagbe Road in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta.
He disclosed that the peculiarity of the environment in the South-South had made it quite expensive to develop infrastructure, especially roads, in the area.
The governor said that with the quality of projects being executed by Okowa across Delta, it was obvious that he would do more with enhanced funds.
He pointed out that the inaugurated bridge and road projects would enhance the economy of the communities and also connect them to other parts of the state.
According to him, Okowa is a champion of modern-day democracy and represents the ideals of great leadership, particularly with the quality of work he does with the derivation funds.
Obaseki also said that Okowa was not only building physical bridges but also building social, economic and community bridges.
He pledged to sustain the age-long relationship between Delta and Edo and assured that he would invite Okowa to inaugurate projects in Edo soonest.
“Governor Okowa is a brilliant leader who understands the importance of roads and infrastructure in the lives of the people and communities, and that is why he has continued to prioritise the construction of roads in Delta.
“The construction of this bridge and roads will lead to the development of the communities and I must commend the governor for connecting the Urhobos and Ijaws with the Okwagbe road,” he said.
In his remarks, Okowa said that the Effurun-Otor-Ovwor Bridge was one of the major requests of the people when he visited the communities in 2015.
He said that the vision of his administration was to connect Delta communities with roads, bridges and other basic amenities, adding that his administration had awarded contracts for no fewer than 500 road projects, with many already completed.
The governor commended the contractor of the projects, Obakpor Engineering Limited, for its engineering prowess and assured that he would deliver on the Ovwor hospital project in 2022.
“When I came to inspect the bridge while under construction, it was a very exciting moment even more exciting than what I saw today because I saw a traditional ruler walk on a wooden bridge to come and meet me on the other side of the bridge.
“Today, I believe that my joy knows no bounds because we have truly brought joy to the people of Ovwor-Olomu/Effurun-Otor.
“As the Commissioner for Works did say, we are currently continuing on the Trans-Warri road with several bridges and it is our hope that we will complete that project leading to Ode-Itsekiri in the course of our tenure,” he added.