The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the oil bearing communities of the Niger Delta deserve more development to show for the resources found in abundance in their land.

Osinbajo spoke at Angiama while flagging off the historical Angiama-Oporoma Link Bridge of the Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie Road, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on Saturday.

The Vice President was in Bayelsa to flag off the critical project in the oil rich Southern Ijaw on the invitation of the State Government as part of the activities to mark Governor Douye Diri’s second year anniversary.

He said that efforts are ongoing to address the historical lapses that consigned such communities to underdevelopment as shown by the concerted efforts of governments at all level.

He said, “Communities like Oporoma, Angiama, and others across the Niger Delta are host to vast amount of mineral wealth, natural resources so they deserve considerable developmental gain to show for it.

“And we are well on our way towards correcting historical lapses in this respect as a matter of urgency through the collaborative efforts of the Federal Government, State Government and Local Governments.

“Each one putting aside personal parochial interest and doing the best we can for the communities which have undeservedly suffered for so long.”

He said that bridge is a symbol of ongoing efforts and ambitious projects of the Governor Diri’s Administration in the diverse areas of education, health, security, infrastructural development and others.

He said that with the flagging off of the project, the people had arrived at a turning point in the 60 year old history of the Yenagoa-Oporoma Road which would be brought to completion with one determined push.

Osinbajo said that the road will lead to unprecedented increase in commercial activities and enhanced security in the coastal communities of Bayelsa.

“It is not hard to imagine how much more commerce will be unlocking in the surrounding communities. By flagging off this project, I am seeing in its completition, the farmers and fishermen that will be connected to the new markets as easier and more efficient logistics enable them to expand their operations.

“They will employ more people, provide better opportunities for their families not to mention the improvements of security through an access road that circumvents sea pirates and allow traders to go about their businesses safely. No local economy in the world can survive in isolation.” He added

The VP also commended the efforts of the immediate past Governor Henry Seriake Dickson on the Road also known as the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District Road.

He noted the the well intended efforts of the former Governor were slowed down by a combination of factors such as militancy, the recurrent flooding and others.

Osinbajo added that the effective collaborative efforts between the Federal and State governments resulted in the refund of money spent by the previous state government on federal roads.

In his remarks, the State Governor commended the VP for his sustained support, encouragement and understanding on the issues of the Niger Delta oil bearing communities.

He recalled a quote attributed to VP where he said reassuringly that the people of the region deserve justice, and their suffering did not show that they are oil producing.

Diri explained that he directed the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Works to release 70 per cent of the contract sum to the contracting firm, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, to do a thorough job.

“Mr. Vice President, there is a particular symbolism in today’s event. In the same way that physical bridges connect places, collaboration is a ‘bridge’ that connects people and interests. Your presence exemplifies the bridge of cooperation that endures between this Government of Prosperity and the Federal Government. And similarly, it takes time, effort and planning to build cooperation, as it does a physical bridge. We are greatly encouraged by your attendance.

“This Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie road project is only one of the few projects by the federal government in Bayelsa State. That this project has been ongoing for 60 long years is a sad parable of the lack of attention that successive federal governments have paid to the region that continues to provide the bulk of the nation’s resources, at severe and sacrificial cost.” He added


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