Ambassador Desmond Akawo, Sole Administrator, Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPH) has pleaded with the state government to focus on infrastructure development in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state to ameliorate the sufferings of residents.
Akawo, who is also an indigene of the area, made the plea on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on the outcome of a courtesy call on the governor by stakeholders of the local government area.
He said that as key stakeholders in the state, the traditional rulers and leaders of Oyigbo local area council had drawn government’s attention to the decay in infrastructure in the area.
Akawo said that it has become imperative to channel development to the Oyigbo area to help decongest Port Harcourt city and sustain economic activity in the fast growing local area council.
“We embarked on a courtesy call on the state governor Chief Nyesom Wike mainly to congratulate him on his developmental strides in the state and to also table the challenges faced by residents of Oyigbo local government area.
“Most importantly, to commend him for being able to rebrand the state by encouraging quality in the delivery of infrastructure.
“The governor has indeed epitomised courage, quality and patriotism in his administration,” he said.
The Sole administrator, however said that during the visit, the people of Oyigbo presented some requests, adding that top on the list was the call for dualisation of the Oyigbo/Afam Road which currently is in a very deplorable condition.
“The poor state of the road has exposed residents and businesses to various levels of hardship because the road is a major link to a huge economic hub (Afam Power station) and 17 villages in the local government area
“Of course, the governor listened to our plights and showed concern towards speedy solutions in tackling our challenges.
“We also made the governor understand that Oyigbo is amongst few local area councils in the state that has no general or even a cottage hospital.
“When we presented this to the governor, he equally felt bad that such issue had yet to be addressed,” he said.
Akawo said that the issue of an indigene of the area who was gruesomely murdered by unknown gunmen during the 2019 governorship election was also presented to the governor.
“On the death of one of our sons whom we lost during the election, the governor has promised to raise an endowment fund of N50 million for the two year-old son of the deceased.
“For us from Oyigbo, we are happy that the governor received us, listened to our plights and also made key promises and because we know he is someone who keeps to his promises, we are optimistic our request would be considered,” he added.
Akawo equally thanked the governor for the two roads that were ongoing in the area, one already completed which is the Old Port Harcourt Aba road linking the PAMO University to the Oyigbo Market junction while the Agbo-nchia/Eleme road was almost 70 percent complete.
He said that one major economic breakthrough the area has benefited from Wike’s administration was the DATCO Cassava plant venture which was a joint venture between Shell and the Rivers State government.
According to him, the plant was supposed to process cassava for Oyigbo farmers up to the Etche farmers in area.
“For our local farmers, the ripple effect is that this venture would spur the farmers to cultivate more.
“They would no longer have the challenge of storage and point of sales as they would have been connected to ready off takers, this is indeed going to be a cassava boom within our area,” he said.