The Delta State Government has assured of the construction of the Emevor Link Road in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state. The State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Barry Pere Gbe, disclosed this during the 2023 Citizens Budget Engagement held at the Government House Press Centre, Asaba.
The Commissioner, who was responding to remarks by the President General of Emevor Kingdom, Sir Moses Agboro, that the project has been neglected despite the promise by the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa that his government will construct four kilometres of the estimated 29 kilometres length of the road by 2022, said the project was already gaining the attention of the state government and will be constructed this year.
The Commissioner also reiterated the government’s commitment to complete all ongoing projects in the state before the present administration winds up in 2023. To this end, he said that the government was set to propose an implementable 2023 budget that will capture ongoing infrastructural projects and give priority to the social sector.
The event was an interactive session with representatives of the Delta Traditional Rulers Council, Civil Society Organizations, Communities President Generals across the state and Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to assess the success so far of the 2022 budget and discuss the 2023 budget proposal, according to Gbe, was special and important as it will be the last of the present administration. He pointed out that as a transition budget there was need for proper scrutiny in order to give priority to what is most needed.
He said, “as a transition budget there was need not to design it to be so bogus that we cannot implement because that will cause problems for the next administration and will question the integrity of the budget.
“We had intended to reduce road construction in 2023 but will ensure that funds are distributed to all ongoing construction especially those that are already 80 to 90 percent completed. We want to focus more on the social sector, to provide social service that will impact more on the people.”
Speaking further, he stressed that there was need to interact with the grassroots so as to have a people-oriented and people-inclusive budget, adding that it will be a misplaced priority to cite projects in areas they as not needed.
“Your duty is to tell us what you need and to also help us follow up the implementation process. There is no point sitting projects that will not have direct impact on the people. We know we cannot do all due to the available resources to us, so we want you to help us prioritize,” he stated.
Earlier, the President General of Emevor Kingdom, Sir Moses Agboro, told the Commissioner that it was saddening to be discussing the success of the 2022 budget without the Emevor Road, especially when the government was planning not to do any new road project in 2023.
According to him, despite promises by the State Governor during the campaign to construct 4km of the 29km, the project was not captured in the 2022 budget. He said the road has been abandoned since 1999 when it was first awarded, appealing to the state government not only to construct the promised 4km but complete the balance.
Speaking on behalf of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, its 1st Vice Chairman, His Royal Majesty, Stanley Luke VIII, the Pere of Akugbene-Mein Kingdom, said the budget discussion was very vital p to the people and the government.
He commended the state government and the Economy Commissioner for always ensuring that the approved budget by the State Assembly was always being implemented to the full. While observing that, as the last budget for the present administration, there will be a lot of focus by all parties, he expressed optimism that the budget will be well implemented like the ones before it.
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