Abuja – Abia Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, said his administration had constructed 60 roads across the state since inauguration in 2015.
Ikpeazu stated this a forum in Abuja, and said that the roads comprised rural, intra-state and inter-state routes.
He said the roads, especially those in the rural areas, were constructed to make life better for the people and accelerate economic activities across the state.
According to him, 33 out of the 60 roads constructed are located in Aba, while about 105 construction sites are currently active in the state.
“Clearly, Aba has about 33 roads out a total stock of 60 completed roads.
‘’We have a catchment of 25 million people coming into Abia everyday to do business; this is true because of the confluence nature of our cities.
“No other state in Nigeria has more neighbours than Abia apart from Kaduna. We have seven neighbours.
“So, we decided to first build roads that will give access from each neighbouring state into Abia; they are the roads we regard as inter-state roads.’’
Ikpeazu said that the government also considered the roads based on the socio-economic value of the routes.
“We are doing roads that link people into Ariaria Market; for the first time in 20 years, we have been able to open the access to Ariaria from Brass to the expressway which never happened.
“We are doing Eziukwu road because it leads to Eziukwu Market; we are doing Port-Harcourt road because there is a hub for metal fabrication around Port Harcourt road in spite of the fact that it is a federal road.
“We are doing Aba-Owerri road because it leads into the city. The three roads I mentioned earlier, Ehere, Ukegbu and Umuola can give you access to Akwa-Ibom and in order to make sure that people from other states come,’’ he said.
The governor added that “under rural roads, we have embarked on 10 kilometres per local government and we have done 70 per cent of this.
“Indeed, the rural roads that we are doing also serve some socio-economic importance.’’
He added that the rural roads would facilitate transfer of agricultural produce from the farms to processing centres and ultimately, to the markets.
He said the state government had maintained the services of reputable road construction companies to ensure quality and high standard of the roads.
“There is no other state within our economic bracket that is keeping four grade “A’’ contractors working in the state.
“I have employed SETRACO. I am proud to say that I have employed Arab Contactors; I am proud to say that I employed Chinese and Gold that is doing the first flyover in our state.
‘’I am also proud to say that Bulletin is doing some of our rural roads.’’
Ikpeazu said the quality of infrastructure, like roads, would motivate an investor to come to the state.
“We are speaking to quality, because we want to create an environment that will make Abia an investment destination.
“If an investor is coming to built a factory and he wants to spend N1 billion or N2 billion, his consideration would be, what is the quality of the infrastructure that I am going to meet,’’ he stated.
The governor said that the roads constructed by his administration had at least, 30 years span.
“We are doing roads that will last 30 years, and that is why in the South-East, we pioneered cement pavement technology where we do “nine-inch concrete bricks (BRC) and also finish it with Asphalt.’’(NAN)