Delta State Government has expressed concern over the attitude of traders at the popular Ogbeogonogo Market in Asaba, towards the early completion of the multi-million naira Under Ground Storm Project that passes through the market to the River Niger.
The State Commissioner for Works, Highway and Urban Roads, Comrade Reuben Izeze said in an interview that the project is complex and that the expected cooperation from the traders was lacking at the site.
The ever-busy Ogbeogonogo market, located along Dennis Osadebay Way in Asaba, is the major market in the state capital, with high human traffic on a daily basis.
According to the Commissioner, the Under Ground Storm Project is part of the state government’s master plan to rid the capital territory of any form of flooding in the city whenever it rains.
He said it is designed to channel waters flowing from parts of the Okpanam Road, Nnebuisi Road and Dennis Osadebay Way as well as adjoining roads and streets into the river Niger.
Works Commissioner, Highway and Urban Roads, however, berated the traders for their uncooperative disposition towards speedy execution of the project as they had refused to take a break to allow the contractor work.
Comrade Izeze explained that to disabuse the minds of the public of any allegation, stating that so far so good, the contractor is achieving the milestone within the timeline.
The Commissioner maintained that ordinarily, the traders ought to have temporarily vacated the market as remaining there poses a lot of danger, even with the heavy rains, saying that there is a tendency of mudslides in the locality.
Izeze stated that rather than the traders blaming the contractor for being slow in handling the project, the state government is appealing to them to take a break and allow the contractor to work as their presence is slowing the pace of work.
The Commissioner for Works, Highway and Urban Roads disclosed that the Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori is worried about the development and had called for the understanding of the traders for their own safety.
Stressing the popular saying that states “No Pain, No Gain”, Izeze who acknowledged that the times are hard, pointed out that there is no development that comes without inconvenience.
He said upon the completion of the project, the traders will have a better trading environment and the capital city territory will be completely free from flood menace.
Comrade Izeze disclosed that the project is expected to be completed within two months and restated the government’s commitment to providing a healthy living environment for Deltans and residents in the state.
The ongoing construction work no doubt has disrupted the volume of commercial activities in the market, which informed the traders to call for speedy completion of the project.
The traders had appealed to the state government to prevail on the contractor handling the underground water storm sewage to speed up the construction work as the slow pace of work was affecting their trades.
While appreciating the project and the government’s good intention to address the flooding problem in Asaba, the traders alleged that the contractor seems not to have the required capacity for early completion of the project.
They said since the project started patronage has been very minimal due to the hazards created by excavations of the area, stressing that life was becoming unbearable for them.