The Delta House of Assembly Committee on Works and Special Projects has decried the poor state of the Direct Labour Agency (DLA), an intervention agency of the state, and promised to take necessary steps to revive it.
The committee chairman, Oboro Preyor, gave the assurance in Asaba on Saturday during a maiden meeting of the committee with the agency’s interim management team.
Mr Preyor (PDP-Bomadi), who expressed concern over the ailing agency, said it should not be allowed to go into extinction.
The lawmaker explained that the DLA was the only intervention agency established by Delta State law to handle road maintenance and construction of smaller roads.
Mr Preyor, who explained that the agency was established to function just like the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), noted that there was a time when the agency was almost like a parallel body with the state Ministry of Works.
He directed the agency’s officials to present to the committee the exact cost of reviving the asphalt plants and machinery that could be salvaged, especially the earth-moving equipment.
The chairman also directed the agency to furnish it with a detailed report of its strength and functions, saying there was a need to know whether the agency still has the manpower to handle projects.
The lawmaker, however, noted that the committee was not interested in auctioning any of the equipment but in approaching authorities, particularly the state governor, to restore the agency.
Mr Preyor also warned officials of the agency against over bloated estimates on the repairs of the ailing facilities.
Ferguson Onwo (PDP-Isoko South I), who expressed optimism towards reviving the agency, said, “It is cheaper to maintain roads than allow them to degenerate to the point that requires complete reconstruction.”
Earlier, the agency’s acting director general, Henry Emonena, said the agency was a beehive of activities before the setbacks that plunged it into its present state.
Mr Emonena recalled when at least 50 road projects were inaugurated under the agency and regretted the loss of government patronage on it.
He disclosed that all the asphalt plants, located in some parts of the state, were down due to constant vandalism, adding that the present management was able to rehabilitate one recently.