Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the Federal Government would henceforth be more cautious in matters of project cost evaluation and execution in the state after the building of her federal secretariat in the state took about 12 years.
Governor Diri stated this on Tuesday at the official commissioning and handover ceremony of the Federal Secretariat in Yenagoa.
President Muhammadu Buhari, at the virtual commissioning ceremony, who named the Secretariat after former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, noted that the successful completion of the secretariat projects in Yenagoa, Awka and Gusau would save the Federal Government from the expenditure of renting office accommodation for its workers in the three states.
Governor Diri, who revealed that it was good that President Buhari completed all the federal roads started by Goodluck Jonathan, adding that the outgoing President didn’t initiate any new project in Bayelsa throughout his eight years in office.
Governor Diri, also said now that the Federal Government had witnessed firsthand the comparatively high cost of executing infrastructural projects in the state will stop criticism of states.
Represented at the ceremony by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor said, “Governors of the South East, South West and South-South have always been condemned for misusing the resources given to them from federal allocation, but since the government itself has passed through this road in Bayelsa State, I am sure they won’t make comments in such manner again.
“The cost of constructing a kilometre of standard road in Bayelsa is required to construct four or more kilometers of the same grade of road elsewhere in the country,” he said.
He noted that the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Federal Secretariat, which was initially pegged at N2.5 billion, had to undergo a cost variation after the 2012 catastrophic flood and was completed at a total cost of N3.1 billion.
His words: “Some people who do not actually know what we are passing through in this state are quick to condemn us and make all sorts of comments about our level of development.
“But I’m happy and very sure that the Federal Government, having passed through what we experience in Bayelsa State, will not make such comments. In Bayelsa, we spend a lot of resources to clear the road and create land for construction.
“I’m happy that the story will change, going forward, because they (Federal Government) have seen that what will cost them N2 billion to build in Awka, Anambra State and Gusau in Zamfara will cost them N3 billion in Bayelsa State
“The Federal Government has seen that construction in Bayelsa here is more repulsive, resistant and difficult. The project here was billed for 2.5 billion but after the flood in 2012 it was redesigned and re-evaluated.
“While it is good that the Federal Government completed some of the projects started by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, we want to place it on record that, for the past eight years, we never saw one new project in Bayelsa State.”