Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has commenced the rehabilitation of failed portions of the old Enugu-Onitsha road with the sum of N783 million, the state Commissioner for Information, Dr Godwin Udeuhele, has said.
Addressing newsmen on Thursday on the outcome of the state executive council meeting held on Wednesday night, Udeuhele said that the move was due to the hardship commuters were facing on the road.
He said that the contract, which covered three kilometers of the 9th Mile-Udi-Oji River-Ugwuoba road, was awarded to ANBEEZ Nig. Ltd.
The commissioner said that several earth-moving machines were already on site.
He said that the attention of the state government was drawn to the deplorable nature of the road, which he said, had threatened to cut the state off from Anambra.
He said that economic activities between the two sister states were brought to a halt due to the deplorable condition of the road.
The commissioner said that the complete failure of the dual carriage Enugu-Onitsha expressway had made all vehicles to ply the old road, thereby causing failure of many portions of the road.
“This is sequel to the hardship caused by the deplorable nature of the road arising from heavy traffic occasioned by the impassable nature of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway,” he said.
“The entire length of the road covers 9th Mile-Udi-Oji River-Ugwuoba, but we are working at the border between Enugu and Anambra states which has failed,” he said.
Udeuhele said that the state government, had three years ago, invested N4.794 billion on the road, stressing that the state had never neglected its portion of the old road.
“The state government did some work on that particular section, but it got bad again when the volume of traffic increased as a result of the complete failure of the Enugu-Onitsha express road,” he said.
He said that government was moved to commence work on the road in spite of its lean resources since that was the only road that linked traders from Enugu and Ebonyi to the main market in Onitsha.
The commissioner appealed to the Federal Government to listen to the cries of the masses and rehabilitate Enugu-Onitsha expressway, which he said, had been neglected for more than 15 years.
“Our traders and indeed, other business people move their goods on daily basis through that road and we don’t want to hinder the commercial activities going on in Onitsha.
“The Federal Government should expedite action on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway because we understand the contract has been awarded. They should do their own part,” Udeuhele said.