Former Abia governor hails FG’s re-award of Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road



Former Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia has lauded Federal Government’s decision to handover the rehabilitation of the Umuahia-Ikot Ekoene Road to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 49-kilometre road was initially awarded to Messrs Hartland Nigeria Limited/Raycon Company Nigeria Ltd. in 2019, with a 48-month completion target.

The project was, however, abandoned over alleged non-release of funds, leaving the road to further deteriorate, resulting in terrible traffic gridlocks, auto crashes and loss of man hour on a daily basis.However, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday waded in with the approval for NNPC to take over the project at the cost of ₦621 billion.In a statement issued in Umuahia and made available to NAN on Friday, Orji expressed delight over the development.The lawmaker, representing Abia Central Senatorial District, said, “I feel very happy that the federal government has come to our rescue.“

The road is in my constituency and I am happy about it.“Motorists, commuters and communities who line up the Umuahia end of the road cried out and students protested and now the federal government heeded the call.“Even Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has persistently appealed to the federal government for its urgent intervention.“It is all these appeals that made the federal government and the Ministry of Works to come and rehabilitate it.“

It is a collective effort and no single individual can claim credit for the federal government’s intervention.”The statement, which was signed by his Media/Liaison Officer, Mr Ifeanyi Umere, thanked  those, who in one way or the other, made the intervention possible.It also thanked the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Works, the students who protested and the National Assembly for drawing FG’s attention to the road.Orji, who said the fund for the project was on ground, urged the supervisory ministry and the funding agency to ensure its completion.

NAN reports that students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, near Umuahia, took to the streets a fortnight ago, protesting against the massive dilapidation of the road, which passes front of the university’s main gate to other communities.They called for urgent government’s intervention, saying that many, including their colleagues, had died in auto crashes resulting from the poor condition of the road. (NAN)