Emmanuel Ugwu in Umahia
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, wednesday announced that five roads in Aba would be reconstructed to world class standard after securing international funding for the projects.
He said the sum of N27.4 billion has been secured for the road projects following the successful engagement of his administration with World Bank for funds.
According to him, the global bank released the funds after his administration had paid the required counterpart funding, adding that the people of the state would be very proud of the quality of roads that would be built in the commercial hub of the state.
He named the roads to include Ngwa, Uratta road, Port Harcourt road, Ohanku and Obohia roads, which have been begging for attention over the years, adding that work would commence in a fortnight.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, in a statement made available to journalists in Umuahia, said Ikpeazu broke the cheering news in a live radio programme in Aba.
The governor made it clear that every arrangement had been concluded for the commencement of the total reconstruction of the five designated roads in a fortnight.
He attributed the apparent delay in starting work on the roads to the desire of his administration to find a permanent solution to the problems on those roads, hence, the state government had to seek the assistance of international development partners.
Recalling the challenge of the Ndiegoro water disaster of the 1980s, which effect still lingers till date, Ikpeazu assured the people that the current project has been designed to provide a lasting solution to that problem.
He appealed to residents of the affected areas to provide maximum cooperation to the contractors as “the government will not tolerate any acts that would sabotage the projects, which are guaranteed to permanently and significantly change the infrastructural landscape of Aba for the better.”
Ikpeazu also stated that the road projects would significantly impact on the state economy because 40 percent of the contract sum will be spent on local procurement of materials while hundreds of local construction workers will be engaged in the project.
In his contribution, the state Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Solomon Ogunji, stated that several buildings in the project area would give way, adding that payment of compensation for all legitimate property owners had long commenced.