By Naomi Uzor
Federal Government and Dangote Industries Limited, yesterday, flagged off the reconstruction of the roads and bridges at Ofeme Community in Abia State.
The construction of the road will be handled by AG-Dangote, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited. The project is covered under Executive Order #7 of 2019, titled Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, where “Participating investors will use tax credits to reduce corporate taxes payable to government until they recoup the value of their investments in roads and bridges.”
Speaking at the flag off event, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, extolled the federal government for the executive order #7 which allows private sector intervention in the provision of critical infrastructure. Dangote who was represented by the South South Regional Director of Dangote Cement, Mr. Okoro George, said a new dawn is coming to Ofeme community as the deplorable state of their roads would soon be a thing of the past.
He explained that the 16-kilometre road will form a ring road around Ofeme and connect it at two points to the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway while the two bridges connecting the town to other communities would be rebuilt. According to him, “the entire road network will be built on concrete pavement instead of earth pavement which gives a lifespan of about 40 years, will contain drains on both sides while the surface will be made of concrete also instead of asphalt.”
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, speaking at the flag off described the Ofeme Community road network reconstruction as a gigantic project that opens the community and surrounding towns to development.
The Minister, who was represented by Federal Controller of Works, Abia State, Engr. Nwankwo Chukwudike, said the project on completion would open up access roads to manufacturing clusters in the area, reduce high cost of transportation and raise the standard of life for the people. He said movement of agriculture produce from the farming hubs will become cheaper and easier, bringing in more income.