Minister Of Works Inspects Federal Roads In Abia State
The Minister of Works and former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Dave Umahi has embarked on a 2 day Official visit to inspect road projects with a mandate to ensure the speedy completion of the ongoing projects in Abia State.
The former Governor made this known during his Inspection Tour of both the completed and ongoing federal road projects situated in Abia State.
Senator Umahi said that there were 11 ongoing road projects by the Federal Government in Abia State and threatened to sanction Contractors who failed to complete projects awarded to them within the stipulated timeframe.
The Minister named some of the projects to include Section II of Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Section I of Lokpanta – (completed), Rehabilitation of Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene Road and Nkporo-Abiriba-Ohafia Road.
He said that other projects are Section I of Bende-Arochukwu-Ohafia Road, Aba-Owerri Road, Uturu-Isuikwuato-Akara Road, Umuchichi-Ozo Road, Aba-Port Harcourt Road and others.
The former Governor was optimistic that the several roads like the Umuahia-Ikwuano,-Umudike – Ikot Ekpene road taken over by NNPC under the Federal Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme would be speedily completed.
“I discovered something unprofessional where Contractors put a binder course and leave it up to five to eight years, and within that period, the binder course fails.
“Henceforth, no contractor will leave the binder course for more than one month without covering it because the binder course admits water which affects subgrade.
He solicited the Governor’s assistance in reducing the incessant kidnapping by clearing the road at least by 50 metres from the verge.
Umahi reiterated that it would increase visibility and reduce kidnappings on the roads, saying “it is something we recommend and it is done in the North.”
The former Ebonyi Governor suggested that such technology should specifically be used in Aba, the flood-prone commercial hub of Abia, while saying that asphalting is good but doesn’t last.
“Water doesn’t really disturb concrete road,” he said.
He said that the Federal Government is ready to embrace any tax credit from any company operating in any state in order to make the roads motorable.
The Minister urged the Governors to intervene in the federal roads in their respective States, stressing that it is everybody’s responsibility.
“The Federal Government cannot commit to refunding any money now because the money is not there, but the roads belong to the people of that State.
“So nobody should be crying that the Federal Government has refused to give approval, because I will just do that on request,” he said.
The Minister stressed the importance of governance that prioritizes delivering results that the people can see, emphasizing that meaningful progress extends beyond arbitrary timeframes of 100 days in Office.
“Let me thank you for a lot of improvement that you have done in the State just few months now. I don’t believe in 100 days in office, I don’t believe in two years in office, I believe in working for the people and let the people see what you are doing.
“There is nothing meaningful that anybody who intends to work can achieve in 100 days. You may not even design a meaningful project in 100 days. But we have been seeing what you’ve been doing because you’ve been around, you understand the pains of your people.
“And so I commend you and also congratulate Abia people because they are going to see quite enormous and massive progress”, Umahi said.
Umahi also solicited the Governor’s help to sort out issues affecting the building of a Trailer park at Arungwa Aba, saying that the State government should acquire the place and partner the Federal Government to develop it, together with the private sector.
In his response, Governor Otti expressed gratitude for the Minister’s visit to Abia State and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to partnering with the Federal Government to enhance the State’s Federal Roads.
The Governor raised concerns about the extended travel times between Aba and Port Harcourt, and added that the State government has already engaged the CCECC Construction Company to do some palliative works on the road and get one of the lanes working.
He expressed the State government’s interest in reviving the Umuahia-Bende-Abriba-Ohafia-Arochukwu Federal road project, which had suffered delays and abandonment in the past and expressed his willingness to allocate funds to expedite the project.
“If I’m able to find money, I will like to do the road and whenever he (the president) is able to, he will reimburse us. We believe that we should support the Federal Government in delivering dividends of democracy to our people.” Governor Otti remarked.
Engr Umahi, was joined in the visit by the Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Onyekachi Nweobonyi, and the South East Director, Federal Highway, Engr. Bede U. Obioha, the Abia State Controller of Works, Engr. Tony Onwubiko among others.