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Economic prospects for communities in Abia State North have received a boost as Governor Alex Otti officially initiated the reconstruction of the 67.6km Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Akara-Ohafia road.
Since the second republic, the key road connecting the state capital to the Abia North senatorial zone, passing through Umuahia North, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Ohafia local government areas, has not undergone any reconstruction.
Otti stated that the moment has arrived to restore the lost momentum in infrastructure development, which suffered neglect from past administrations for decades.
Crowds of people gathered at the three flag-off points, expressing their joy over the new development, while motorists and commuters on the consistently busy road waved appreciatively.
The governor explained that he split the stretch of road into three sections with different construction firms working simultaneously on each section in order to quicken the completion date.
From Umuahia end to Uzuakoli, which is about 22.6km, would be done by Craneburg with Ferotex Construction Company working on 22.5km Isuikwuato to Abiriba section, while China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) got the 22.5 km Abiriba to Ohafia portion.
Otti reiterated that: “We are committed to our promise to fix Abia State economy in order to wipe away our tears of several decades shed due to dilapidated of physical infrastructure.”
He made it clear to the contractors that he intends for the road project to be finished in 12 months, in contrast to the contracted 18 months, while also stating that the road would be dualized.
Acknowledging the economic significance of reconstructing the road leading to the state’s food belt, Otti expressed his eagerness to provide Abians with well-maintained roads throughout the state.
He mentioned that achieving this would facilitate the efficient transportation of agricultural products from the rural areas to urban centers, thereby enhancing the rural economy.
The governor recognized that the escalating inflation rate has posed a significant challenge, making it “more difficult to accomplish anything” in terms of infrastructure projects.
“But we are going to do our best,” he assured Abians, adding that “this is just the beginning” as his administration is committed to holistic transformation of the state.
“We want our people to move on roads that are motorable. We want the people who are doing business in every nook and cranny of Abia State to be able to evacuate their produce and come to the townships to sell them.”
Otti further stated that he was rebuilding the state because “we want all our leaders to feel free to return home with their money and stimulate their village economies.”