The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, has said that the East-West Road project is 53 per cent completed afetr an assessment of the level of work done by the contractors.
The minister stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Mr Fidelis Osammor, the Deputy Director of Press in the ministry.
It stated that Orubebe revealed this when a delegation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
According to the statement, Orubebe said that 35 bridges and 756 culverts had been fully completed, putting total work done by the ministry on the road at 53 per cent.
He said this was against the 10 per cent work done when the project was handed over to the ministry in 2006 by the Federal Ministry of Works.
The minister urged the youths to throw their weight behind the project so that the contractors could speedily carry on with the construction work on the road.
Orubebe said there was a need for security if the East-West road was to be completed in December 2014.
The minister appealed to the youths in the zone to be agents of peace by ensuring the speedy construction of the road.
He recalled that the contract for the construction of the road was awarded for N234 billion of which a paltry N1.2 billion was released in 2006.
"At that time there were no detailed drawings and designs for the road, which compelled former President Olusegun Obasanjo to give direction for the production of the design for the road within two weeks.
"However, when the project was handed over to the ministry in 2009, more detailed drawings and designs were undertaken by the ministry to accommodate all the inadequacies inherent in the former drawings and designs.
"The new designs indicated that 42 bridges and 768 culverts were needed on the road," Orubebe said.
He, therefore, called on the IYC to liaise with youth organisations from other language groups in the region to set up a formidable surveillance network as well as sensitise all the communities to the need for peace to allow development to thrive.
The National Secretary of IYC, Mr Razak Amatori, said the visit was to thank and encourage the Federal Government to continue to execute the road project. NAN