For the people of Abigborodo community, in Warri North Local Government Area, a journey from Sapele to the town by road is a dream come true. In January this year Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan paid a historic visit to the riverrine community, his hometown by road, setting aside the age-long history of accessing the community only by boat.
Today, there are great expectations that the 11.5-kilometre road will be commissioned before the end of the year. So far, a 150-metre bridge and another one of 20 metres stretch have been completed. As at January this year, the project cost was about N7.2 billion at 70 per cent completion. “For me it is historical and very encouraging; and I am so sentimental about it,” Uduaghan said with a sense of accomplishment as he recalled that “a car has never been to Abigborodo before but with this bridge, that is now a thing of the past.”
Prior to the construction of the road, which rips through the tick swampy terrain of the riverine area the only means of reaching the Abigborodo community from the upland area was to travel to Koko, headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area and ferry across the long stretch of water. The road brings to the Abigborodo community, social and economic benefits.
Already, a state-of-the-art model primary school has been completed while a gigantic block of classrooms that replaces the old structures at Alema College is nearing completion. Upon completion, the old Alema College will be converted to a technical college while the old primary school building will become staff quarters for teachers posted to the school. Along the same axis, the Abigborodo Polytechnic is fast springing up. It is for this level of development that Daniel Alatan, PRO, Abigborodo National Youth Council, declared that the people of the community are impressed.
With the new access road, going to these schools will become a delight for teachers and students. Also, economic activities are picking up as the road takes shape. And the best is yet to come. At a town hall meeting with the people, the governor announced the dedication of two Delta City buses to the route to ease transportation in the area. And the joy of the local people knew no bounds.
Perhaps, what has happened to the community was best captured by Habib Affour, the project engineer, when he recalled that “before now, no car has ever come to this community, but now, people are parking cars in front of their houses. Before now, you can’t see bars or relaxation centres, but all that is in the past now. After we did the project, buildings started springing up. There is complete change here.”
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