… Says Anambra State has road crisis
The executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, on Friday flagged off the Nawfija -Ufuma -Akpu -Ajalli -Ogbunka road.
In his address, Governor Soludo who observed that he was at Nawfija to cut the tape to herald the construction of the 16.425 kilometers of road noted that the road construction was in fulfilment of the promise he made to the people of the area during the electioneering campaign.
According to the governor, “We make promises and we fulfill them. This road traverse through Akpu -Ajalli -Ufuma -Nawfija -Ogbunka. It is over 16 kilometers, crossing three rivers and which will open up this area. Although, we are here in Nawfija but it doesn’t pass through Nawfija only. This road, when completed will save the commuters the stress of passing through Umunze to Owerre-Ezukala and Ogbunka as they can now get to Ogbunka by passing through Nawfija. With this project, we are announcing our presence in Orumba South. This is aimed at opening up the communities.”
Pointing out that Anambra has road crisis, he maintained that “We are concentrating on roads because that is of utmost priority to the people of Anambra State, every other thing is secondary to them and that is why we said that we will declare state of emergency in roads.”
“But one thing that is customary to me is that any road we are to award, I will first go to see it myself. We are working across Anambra State. We will commence work on this road, this is just the beginning. There’s another one, we have just awarded that contract but we will come for the flag off and that is the one that will go from Ezira to Umuomaku to Enugwu-Umuonyia to Achina and then, to Onne. You have heard it from the Commissioner (for Works), the quality of the road is guaranteed for 20 years, the quality that has not been seen in Anambra and that is what we are coming to do here” he added.
While reminding the people that they have a responsibility which he said that they would not take for granted, he further reminded them that they were having these dividends of democracy because APGA was in power even as he urged them to vote all APGA candidates in the coming general elections.
“This is what the Government of APGA is bringing to Anambra State because our slogan is ‘Be Your Brothers’ Keeper’ and that is why we are doing this. Election is fast approaching, if you vote members of the opposition, they will be a cog in the wheel of development of Anambra State. We may ask them to vote more money to complete this road, they would say no and vote money for something else, that means that this road construction will be stopped.
“For this to continue and for many good things to come, the people of Orumba North and South should understand that this is what APGA is doing because if not for APGA, I won’t be here, if not for APGA, this road wouldn’t have been flagged off. So, in the coming election, vote APGA”, he instructed.
Speaking to the contractor handling the project, the governor said, “This road is very important to us, to our people, to Anambra State and we implore you to deliver as designed as per the contracting agreement in terms of the specifications and timeline. For me, rather than not meet the timeline, we will rather ask you to complete it earlier than to give excuses because we ensure that whatever we commit to, we see to the end.
“So, we have done 50 percent, money is not going to be your issue, if you finish it tomorrow, we finish our payment to you. So, you are now the one holding us. I can’t wait to come and drive all through here. I want to drive through it closing my eyes. This is supposed to be completed in ten months, it is supposed to be completed by 28 of August next year. In other words, by this time next year, when I come here, we should be driving through this road, you go to Ogbunka and come back, you go through Ajalli, you go through Ufuma and Akpu.”
Earlier in his speech, the Anambra State commissioner for Works, Ifeanyi Okoma disclosed that the road was awarded in 2017 by the previous administration adding that for five years, they were able to achieve 16 percent and without a full design for the road. He explained that when Governor Soludo came onboard, he decided that “this is one of the roads that he’s going to do and in doing this, he took a major decision and by his support,
we were able to ask the contractor that was doing this job to step aside, so smoothly that there was no litigation and their claims, we planned not to be as it is and so, a consultant was employed to do this project.”
Giving the specifications for the job, the Commissioner said, “This road is about 16.425 kilometers crossing three rivers with a major hydrologic structure and in chosing who will do this job, Mr. Governor decided that a contractor that will finish this job who has a track record should be employed.
“Let me say it this way, apart from the three major river crossing, this road has 200 millimeters which is about 8 inches stone base and this stone base is cement stabilized and in line with Mr. Governor’s mandate and mantra, that this road should be a long lasting road. The design life for this road is 20 years and the contractor is guaranteeing with the consultant that this road will stay for 20 years. Anything short of that, he will be held responsible.”
In their separate speeches, the Transition Committee Chairman of Orumba South, Prince Neville Uchendu, the Transition Committee Chairman of Orumba North, Hon. Sir Ogo Ekwueme, Member representing Orumba South in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Nwafor, Member representing Orumba North in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Emeka Aforka, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi and the Honourable Commissioner for Agricultural, Foster Ihejiofor thanked the governor for keeping his promise to the people of the area and pledged the unalloyed support to his administration.
Others who spoke at the event included the APGA Senatorial candidate for Anambra South, Hon. Chris Azubogu, APGA House of Representatives candidate for Orumba North and South, Sir Eric Eze, the Traditional Ruler of Nawfija among others.
Photo: Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the executive Governor of Anambra State cutting the symbolic tape to mark the flag off of the road at Nawfija, Orumba South Local Government Area on Friday.
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