The Enugu State Government has approved the award of contract for the rehabilitation of failed sections of the Federal Government road along Oji-River- Ugwuoba – Anambra State border (old road), which has collapsed to a state of disrepair, and now traps vehicles for several hours.
Announcing the decision after the State Executive Council meeting, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Dr. Godwin Ikechukwu Udeuhele said that the contract was awarded to ANBEEZ Nig. Ltd at the contract sum of N783,005,827.92 (Seven hundred and eighty-three million, five thousand, eight hundred and twenty seven naira, ninety-two kobo) only.
Dr. Udeuhele who said that work would commence immediately, noted that the immediate past administration in the state rehabilitated the road about 3 years ago at a contract sum of N3,104,996,450.00, (Three billion, one hundred and four million, nine hundred and ninety-six thousand, four hundred and fifty naira) only, which was later revised to N4,794, 196, 251.79 (Four billion, seven hundred and ninety-four million, one hundred and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and fifty one naira, seventy-nine kobo) only.
The Commissioner added that the road collapsed partly because of increased stress on it, caused by movement of heavy duty vehicles, occasioned by the total dilapidation of Enugu-Onitsha expressway, resulting in all the vehicles being diverted to it.
He expressed worries that the federal government has not refunded Enugu State Government the said amount spent on the project, stressing that the development had hindered the zeal of the state government to embark on another set of rehabilitation of the road.
He said that notwithstanding the huge debt, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was perturbed by the pains road-users were passing through on the road, and has consequently, decided to embark on the rehabilitation of the failed sections of the road to ease traffic flow especially during the forthcoming yuletide, pending when the federal government intervenes.
Udeuhele added that the governor was committed to the wellbeing of the people and has appealed to road-users to understand the state government’s predicament over non-refund of the money spent on federal government roads in the state, which he said amounts to over N22 billion.
While calling on the federal government to release the amount being owed the state, the Commissioner called on the public to exercise patience and cooperate with the state government to actualize the proposed road rehabilitation works.