THE Minister of Works David Umuahi has stated that in just a few months since taking office, Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has boosted development in the state.
Umahi, who was in Abia yesterday to inspect ongoing federal projects in the state, said even though he is not an apostle of 100 days celebration, Abia residents and indeed the South-East are blessed to have Governor Otti as his handwork is already showing.
“Let me thank you for a lot of improvement that you have done in the state just few months now. I don’t believe in 100 days in office, I don’t believe in two years in office, I believe in working for the people and let the people see what you are doing.
“There is nothing meaningful that anybody who intends to work can achieve in 100 days. You may not even design a meaningful project in 100 days. But we have been seeing what you’ve been doing because you’ve been around, you understand the pains of your people.
“And so I commend you and also congratulate Abia people because they are going to see quite progress,” Umahi said during a courtesy visit to Governor Otti, while assuring that Otti will make Abia and the South-East proud.
The Minister, who once served as the governor of Ebonyi State, informed Otti that there are currently 11 federal road projects taking place in Abia.
He mentioned other routes, including Section One of the Port Harcourt-Enugu Express Road, which connects Lokpanta with Abia Tower in Umuahia and is completely finished with a trailer park, and Section Two of the road, which connects Aba with Umuahia Tower.
Others are rehabilitation of Umuahia-Ikwuano to Ikot Ekpene-Umudike Road with a length of 49.2 kilometers; Section of Nkporo-Abiriba-Ohafia Road, awarded in 2012, that has been abandoned; Bende-Arochukwu-Ohafia section one, awarded in 2018; Aba-Owerri Road, awarded in 2020 and others.
He solicited Governor Otti’s support in resolving the issues with the construction of a trailer park in Arungwa Aba, proposing that the state government should buy the property and work with the federal government to develop it with the help of the private sector.
Governor Otti reaffirmed his government’s willingness to work with the federal government to repair the federal highways in the state and thanked the Minister for visiting Abia.
He bemoaned the strain people go through when traveling from Port Harcourt to Aba and vice versa, stating that a trip that used to take 30 minutes is now taking at least three hours.
The Governor maintained that this has given the markets in Aba a fatal blow. He told the Minister that he had previously hired CCECC, a construction firm, to perform some palliative maintenance on the road and reopen one of the lanes.
He also informed the works minister that he would like to discuss with him the Federal Road from Umuahia-Bende-Abriba-Ohafia, all the way to Arochukwu, which was originally awarded by the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) when former President Muhammadu Buhari served as PTF Chairman, under General Sani Abacha, but later abandoned, and later re-awarded in 2011 by former president Goodluck Jonathan and also abandoned.
“If I’m able to find money, I will like to do the road and whenever he is able to, he will reimburse us. We believe that we should support the Federal Government in delivering dividends of democracy to our people,” Governor Otti remarked.
Umahi was joined in the visit by Senator Onyekachi Nweobonyi, Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Engr. B. U. Obioha, South-East Director Federal Highway, among others.