‘ I do not like to see people suffering’
Philanthropist not permitted to fix federal road, repairs Uromi-Agbor Road, varsity campus
REV. Matthew Okpebholo, owner of Ray Royal Engineering Nigeria Limited, a construction company, is a household name in Edo State and beyond.
Motorists that ply the Benin-Auchi-Lokoja Road would not forget in a hurry the intervention of this philanthropist in fixing failed portions of the road near Iruekpen, Ekpoma and parts of the new Uromi-Agbor Road at no cost to the government.
However, his request to, again, fix a failed portion of the road opposite the Court of Appeal in Benin City was refused by the Ministry of Works as the ministry said he needed to get a clearance from Abuja before he could rehabilitate that portion of the road which “when it rains, is a no go area for commuters.”
According to the Controller of Works Denis Orji, a contractor had been given the job.
“The job has not been abandoned. It is payment that has slowed down the job and with the new minister, things will pick shortly”
However, observers wonder why the same man was not stopped when he fixed the failed portions earlier mentioned.
However, it was an ebullient Vice Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Prof. (Mrs.) Cordelia Agbebaku that welcomed Okpebholo to the university community to flag off the construction of roads within the campus worth N300 million.
She said the roads would pass through the school’s Faculty of Social Science, the school’s library and Senate Chambers.
Okpebholo had pledged to fix the road as part of his contribution to the school’s Endowment Fund.
She said: “I am glad to welcome you here to flag off construction of roads that will pass through the Faculty of Social Sciences, the school library and Senate Chambers.
“During the 19th convocation ceremony when he promised to construct these roads worth N300 million, I was not too sure that the work would commence so soon. He is a man of his words and we are glad to have such a man as a friend of the university. He has been giving scholarships. He had before now donated an e-library to the Law Faculty.”
On his part, Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Greg Akenzua called for such support from corporate organisations and individuals to augment government’s efforts
Okpebholo said his philanthropic work was not political as he said he has never attended any political meeting but that he derives joy in helping the needy.
“I do not like seeing people suffering,” he said.