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The former governor of Ebonyi State and Minister of Works, Engr. Dave Umahi has assured the people of the southeast that federal roads in the zone will receive the attention of the federal government under President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
In addition, Umahi revealed that the federal government, through the federal Ministry of Works, was looking into options to use rigid pavement technology to finish some of the ongoing road projects because of the heavy traffic on them. He made these remarks while on a one-day tour of federal government projects in the state.
Umahi, who also travelled to Imo State, praised Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma for bringing about noticeable changes during his tenure in office and noted that Uzodinma’s effort is evident all over the state.
The minister, while in Abia disclosed that the government was considering using cement rigid pavement technology to complete some roads including the Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Expressway, Aba-Ikot Ekpene Expressway, Aba-Owerri Expressway and among others.
The Minister stated that the government was willing to partner other stakeholders on a Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement; through what he described as Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI), to fix other roads that were yet to be given attention to by the federal government, disclosed that it would be difficult to fix southeast roads with budgetary allocation and added that he would be meeting with members of the National Assembly to see how they could help in addressing the situation.
On some of the road projects that were abandoned by various contractors, the Works Minister disclosed that he would be meeting with the ministry’s legal department to decide on what their next line of action would be. This is even as he expressed delight in the job being done by some of the contractors that he met on site on the 12 federal government project sites in Abia State.
Umahi, while listing some of the progress made on federal government roads in the state said Section One of the Port Harcourt-Enugu Express Road, which runs from Lokpanta to Abia Tower in Umuahia, which is hundred percent completed with a Trailer Park; Section Two of the road runs from Umuahia Tower to Aba; Rehabilitation of Umuahia-Ikwuano to Ikot Ekpene-Umudike Road with a length of 49.2 kilometers; Section of Nkporo-Abiriba-Ohafia Road, awarded in 2012, that has been abandoned; Bende-Arochukwu-Ohafia section one, awarded in 2018; Aba-Owerri Road, awarded in 2020 and others.
The minister solicited the support of Abia State Governor, Alex Otti to sort out the 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 with the private sector.
Otti thanked the Minister for visiting Abia and expressed his government’s readiness to partner with the Federal Government to fix the Federal Roads in the State.