The newly constructed multi-million naira Direct Labour Agency (DLA) street, by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration in Delta State, has collapsed seven months after it was inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony.
The street, which was inaugurated by former Senate President Bukola Saraki on Friday, March 19, 2021, on the invitation of the state governor, Okowa, collapsed two weeks in the past, barely seven months after it was inaugurated, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Inaugurating the reconstructed DLA Road, the previous Senate president, Saraki had poured encomiums on Okowa, noting that the brand new venture was already having a optimistic impression on the financial actions in Asaba.
He thanked Okowa for finishing the venture and others.
“Your administration’s commitment to the growth and development of Asaba capital city is laudable and commendable. It gives me great pleasure to be here and to be part of this inauguration,” Saraki acknowledged.
Okowa had recommended the previous senate president, Saraki whereas expressing delight to have achieved the completion of the DLA Road and its adjoining streets after unsuccessful makes an attempt by earlier administrations within the state.
“We are truly very happy that this road is being inaugurated by you; there have been previous attempts at constructing the road but it failed because of inadequate drainage facilities,” Okowa mentioned.
According to the Director-General, Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency, Joan Mrakpor, whose company is alleged to have dealt with the failed venture, the contract was awarded in December 2018.
In 2017, multi-billion naira roads constructed by Governor Okowa’s administration in Delta State, particularly in Asaba, the state capital started to break down simply six months after their inauguration.
Commenting on the collapse of the newly constructed DLA Road, a resident who merely recognized himself as Chukwudi lamented the speed at which roads are been constructed throughout the state with substandard supplies.
He mentioned, “Some of the companies are owned by the governor’s cronies, relatives and kinsmen who do not even specialise in road construction. Some of these companies are suppliers of office supplies and stationery with no record of construction or civil engineering.”
Speaking with SaharaReporters, an Engineer within the state Ministry of Works, who spoke on situation of anonymity, revealed that the speed at which street initiatives failed and collapsed could possibly be attributed to lack of in-depth inspection by administrators within the ministry after amassing bribes from contractors in addition to awarding of contracts to corporations with little or no data of street development.
“An example of such substandard road projects is the Ikpide-Irri N1.5 billion shoddy road project awarded to a marine service company, Portplus limited by the governor as ‘kola nut to one of his cronies who supported him in 2015 governorship election. That project you see, one of our directors has eaten so much and he doesn’t bother to visit the site but certificates are raised and payments are done.
“N1.4 billion has been paid already even when the neighborhood is crying of substandard work. The drawback is that these roads are given out as political patronage by the governor. It’s tough to hold out a holistic inspection due to the contractor’s relationships with the governor. At occasions they connived with administrators after amassing bribes or are available with intimidation and power the ministry to boost certificates for them even with out inspection.”