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Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has disclosed that a total of 771 million naira was allocated for compensating proprietors of 130 designated buildings, which were set for demolition to pave the way for the Okpara Square Ossah road expansion.
It’s worth noting that the contract for the 3.5-kilometer road expansion, transitioning from four lanes to six lanes, was granted to Craneburg Construction Company just last Wednesday.
Otti shared this information during his monthly media engagement with the citizens of Umuahia, the state capital, on Saturday.
He stressed that the objective of expanding the road to six lanes was to tap into the economic potential of the state capital and to open up the city to a wider range of economic opportunities.
Furthermore, the governor disclosed that, along with the eleven roads previously allocated and three already inaugurated during his tenure, three additional roads in Aba, the state’s commercial nucleus, have been entrusted to contractors.
He said, ‘Penco Avenue, Omuma Road and another around Clifford Road, resources are scarce, Port Harcourt road is not forgotten, the road requires a lot of design and in the next few weeks you will see what will happen.’
‘With the little resources the state gets, our government will improve on infrastructure as much as we can, and our people will continue to see the changes in the coming weeks.’
‘Our government is making efforts to ensure that our people have adequate security with the procurement of Hilux vehicles and engagement of various security agencies in the team code-named ‘Operation Flush.’
He made it clear that criticisms from opposition political parties are appreciated, while also acknowledging that residents have become more informed, given what his administration has achieved in the past four months.
When it comes to transparency, the governor confirmed that journalists are welcome to access any data related to the state’s allocation and the financial records of awarded contracts, as opposed to accepting the speculated 500 billion naira reportedly received from the federal government over a two-month period.
‘There’s no problem with transparency, the information is in the public domain. I cannot stay here and throw figures in the air, there’s nothing we are doing here that is hidden. If such money comes in, what did they (the previous administration) do with the money?’
The governor said that the Aba Specialist Hospital is not abandoned, but noted that the government is ‘taking things one step at a time to provide good health services for the people.’
Furthermore, he announced that the state plans to conduct Local Government elections, with the provision that Transition Committee Chairmen will be designated to manage administrative affairs until the election.
‘The transition committee will lead before the local government election is held, we don’t have the timetable yet,’ Otti said.
He stated that the security vote will be spent as intended, without allowing it to be redirected for different purposes.
‘It is all about deploring money to work for Abia people, gone are the days when monies are shared. We now have the Abia State Orientation Agency and the whole idea is for people to begin to think and see life differently. People have been used to doing things the wrong way in Abia,’ he added.