Since 2015, Rivers State has been steered by a leader whose conviction is to make living better for the people, transform the state into an investment destination and make it contribute its sub-national quota to the unity of Nigeria.
So, in achieving the desired transformation, reverse the visible and decrepit state of things including ridding the state of litany of abandoned projects left behind by the previous administration, the New Rivers Vision served as a tenable blueprint for development.
Within the frame of that blueprint, good governance was cultivated and demonstrated. It anchored on ensuring an effective management of the State’s resources. That commitment has the incontestable developmental dividend distributed across the State.
Every sincere Rivers citizen, including the disgruntled, disoriented and sometimes rancorous persons in opposition, attest to the fact that fulfilling promises and delivering quality projects is the mind, body and soul of the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s administration.
It remains unprecedented under the watch of Wike that the economy of Rivers State continues to grow. There is friendly tax regime, plus other economy policies, quality road infrastructure, security, administration of justice and robust commitment to rural development.
Governor Wike has remained consistent in transforming the educational system with greater access provided. Healthcare delivery has been improved and expanded and low-cost housing provided for civil servants. There are also deliberate investments made for the advancement of sports, social welfare, culture, recreation and tourism.
The constant, consistent and recurrent narratives of the last over six years of the Wike’s administration has been an unprecedented delivery of projects, transformation and progress. In recent times, the governor and eminent Nigerians have traversed the length and breadth of the State to commission or flag-off various development projects in the education, healthcare, housing, social welfare, sports sectors.
Objective observers have continued to describe the provision of quality roads across Rivers State as phenomenal. The echoes are felt and heard everywhere across Nigeria.
No administration in the history of Rivers State has ever provided over a thousand kilometres of Trunk-A roads in less than seven years. There are more road networks now connecting many communities to Port Harcourt, the State capital.
Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic that adversely affected global economy, Governor Wike committed to project delivery. He first started and completed three arterial flyovers simultaneously. So far, six flyovers are completed and in use now. four others are ongoing and at various stages of completion. It is such untiring feat that thrilled the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to nicknamed Wike as, ‘Mr. Projects.’
Under the urban renewal programme, the entire road network within the Old Government Reserved Area, Amadi Flat and substantial parts of the New Government Reserved Area within Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas have been reconstructed. The effort improved connectivity, restored environmental sanity and enhanced the socio-economic conditions of the place for residents and those who do business there.
One significant project that has distinguished the Wike’s administration is the connection of ancient Opobo community to the rest of the State and country by tarred road. For one and half century of Opobo’s existence, 61 years after Nigeria’s independence and 54 years after the creation of Rivers State, the former island was only accessible by boat.
According to Governor Wike: “We are as excited as the good people of Opobo for being the government that ensured this glorious reality in the infrastructure and socio-economic lives of this important and famous community.”
With Opobo axis of the Ogoni- Opobo-Andoni Road achieved, Andoni community is next and would soon be completed so that coastal communities of Ngo, Ikuru and other towns along that way can be accessed by road after decades of failed promises by the previous governments. It is in similar vein that the construction of phase one of the Trans-Kalabari road has commenced.
Governor Wike’s administration has turned and transformed not less than 18 major single lane roads into dual carriage. They include Igwuruta – Chokocho road, Saapkenwa – Bori road, Tam David West Boulevard, Rumuokwurishi – Eneka – Igwuruta road, Rumuepirikom – Rumuolumeni road, Rebisi – Trans-Amadi – Oginigba road, Justice Iche Ndu road, Eagle Island – Illoabuchi road, Elelenwo – Akpajo road, Birabi road, Emeyal road, Tombia road, Forces Avenue, Olumeni road, Abacha road, and Harley street, Tombia Extension and the Ezimgbu road. They have street lights, pedestrian walkways and covered drains.
Already, a lot of roads connecting and interconnecting several communities across the State are ongoing. They include Phase one of the Ahoada – Omoku dual carriage way, the phase two Saakpenwa-Bori – Kono dual carriage way, the dualization of Ahoada – Omoku, and Egbema- Omoku roads, the Eastern bypass – Ogbum-nu-Abali dual carriage way, the Woji – Aleto – Alesa road and the Wakama – Ogu – Bolo road, are underway.
In the same vein, Elele-Alimini, Isiokpo, Rumuche, Okochiri, Amadi-Ama, Omoku, Odiokwu Bolo and some others now have a new lease of social and economic life with the internal roads provided, while those for Ogbakiri, Omerelu, Okochiri phase 2, Omagwa and Igwuruta are already underway.
Owing to the burgeoning population and demand for land in the coastal areas of Rivers State, Governor Wike embarked on extensive reclamation of land with the primary intent to overcoming the problem of overcrowding in the future in places like Abalama, Bakana and Kula.
He has also started the sand filling of 55 and 42 hectares of reclaimed land for Abonnema/Obonnoma and Okrika communities respectively. This is to drive for growth and expansion of these ancient and major communities. In addition, Ogu community is benefitting from sand-filling of 25 hectares of land.
For Governor Wike, who is a Life Bencher, access to justice should not merely be an aspirational goal, but a practical reality. This explains why the justice sector is another important area that has received special and consistent attention from his administration.
Since 2015, the Rivers State government has built, furnished and equipped both State and Federal Courts, provided life-long accommodation for all State Judges and enhanced their movements and comfort with new official vehicles as well as built official residences for judges of all Federal Courts in the State.