A 500 metres road constructed by the Delta State government which links the NPA Expressway to the Warri Refinery has been abandoned four months after it was commissioned by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, The New Diplomat can authoritatively report.
The New Diplomat correspondent who visited the access road which was commissioned on March 2, 2021, reports that it has been blocked at different spots with drums and other materials such that vehicles cannot drive through from both ends of the road.
Our investigation revealed that the half kilometer road which was situated at the right side of the popular Bon Delta Hotel, was constructed by the Delta State government to create additional access to the Refinery, aside from the regular Refinery road which runs from Uvwie Local Government Area to the NNPC Refining and Petrochemical Company.
The New Diplomat learnt from multiple sources that the road was blocked shortly after the commissioning as a precautionary measure to prevent hoodlums from accessing it to attack several commercial banks and filling stations located at the Refinery end of the road.
In a chat, an official of a commercial bank located at the Refinery end of the road (names withheld), told The New Diplomat that the original construction plan of the road included two army security posts at both ends of the road, pointing out that neither the government nor the contractor who constructed the road cared to construct the two security posts before the road was hurriedly commissioned.
“The road is very strategic to the accessibility of the commercial area of the refinery especially to the banks, filling stations and even the dispensing units of the PPMC. However, from the original design of the road, it included two army security posts that was planned to checkmate anticipated activities of hoodlums who may take advantage of the short distance to invade the banks at this end of the road.
“As you can see, nearly all the commercial banks in town have their branches situated here for ease of business for those who are involved in petroleum products marketing in the refinery.
“But complaints from officials of these banks and other stakeholders for the government to ensure that the army security posts were constructed side by side the road fell on deaf ears. Before we knew it, the State government and his entourage which included the governor of Bayelsa State came and commissioned it on March 2.
“Knowing the implication of the free access of this road to the major NPA expressway, we decided to block the road from usage to curtail the risk and danger of being attacked by hoodlums through the road.
“The management of the Refinery would have taken responsibility to construct the army security posts, but as you know, the whole system is down since there has been no production.
“However, for security purpose, the road will remain closed for as long as the government has refused to complete the project by constructing the two army security posts at both ends”, our source disclosed.
Our correspondent who trekked the 500 meters road from the NPA Expressway to the Refinery and back, also reports that the newly-commissioned road has cracks at different spots across the road, which were not properly patched.
In a short while, it was observed that those cracks are likely to develop into major crevices that may render the 500 metres road which, it was gathered, costs the Delta State government N5.5 billion to construct, useless.
It would be recalled that Delta State Governor, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa had invited his Bayelsa counterpart, Senator Douye Diri for the commissioning of the NPA Expressway-Warri Refinery access road, as well as the renovated Army Day Secondary School, along the NPA Expressway in Effurun on March 2, 2021.