Abia government says it has unquestionable confidence in indigenous contractors and will continue to engage them along with ‘Grade A’ contractors in road construction in the state
The Commissioner for Information, Chief Okiyi Kalu, stated this in a statement issued on the projects mapped out for completion in the first 100 days of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s second tenure.
In the statement made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Saturday, Kalu said that the state government awarded the projects to indigenous contractors together with other ‘Grade A’ contractors.
He said that the administration was on course to ensure that most of the projects were completed in line with the terms of the contract.
He, however, expressed the fear that some of the roads might not be delivered in record time because of the persistent rains.
The commissioner also spoke on the Umuaro-Ekwerazu Road, Aba which was fixed by the present administration, but already failing on some spots.
According to him, “the original design was to make it a Trunk C road but it is currently taking very heavy traffic, hence the failed portions.
“It is taking very heavy traffic meant for a trunk A road and it is affecting its durability.
“Heavy-duty vehicles, like articulated vehicles, tippers and luxury buses, which ought to ply the Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road or Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road now rely on the Umuaro-Ekwerazu Road.
“We had to fix the road to temporarily take traffic to and from Aba-Akwa Ibom and Cross River states when the Federal Government delayed the reconstruction of Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road.”
Kalu said that the state government had “remobilized Tunnel-end Construction Company, to go back and execute palliative works on Umuaro-Ekwerazu Road, pending when the state can fully reconstruct it.”
He said, “As you know, Tunnel-end is one of the best indigenous contractors available in our state and Nigeria.
“They have satisfactorily done more than 20 roads in Abia and we have confidence in their ability to deliver on time and in accordance with the design.
“We will continue to support them and other indigenous contractors to partner with us in the task of rebuilding our roads.”
The commissioner, therefore, implored the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fasola (SAN), to take necessary measures to mobilise contractors to Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road and Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road.
He expressed concern that work had yet to commence on the two major projects, more than two years after the minister’s assurances when he inspected the roads.
Meanwhile, Kalu said that the state government had fully paid Arab Contractors for the completion of Aba Road, Umuahia, adding that the project was nearing completion.
He listed other projects under construction in different parts of the state, including the Item Water Scheme, Acha Rice Mill and installation of street lights in Umuahia and Aba.