By Tordue Salem
The House of Representatives Wednesday decried the terrible state of federal roads in the Southern part of the country, urging the Ministry of Works to quickly intervene and fix them.
The motion to that effect, was sponsored by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Whip of the House, Nkeiruka Onyejocha, House Spokesman Rep. Benjamin Kalu and 37 others.
In raising the motion, Rep. Okechukwu reported that “a gully has suddenly emerged on the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway around Oraifute, Ekwusigo Local Government Area, Anambra State”.
He reported further that “this development has cut the expressway into two parts leading to the entrapment of a fuel tanker laden with diesel in the gully”.
He said that “it took the intervention of the personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure that the contents of the trapped tanker was trans-loaded while the remaining portion of the road remains closed, to avoid loss of lives”.
He expressed concern that “the Onitsha–Owerri Expressway offers a bypass to several communities in the South-East as well as connects the South-East and South-South geopolitical zonesof the country.
Worried that the present condition of the road has made the road completely impassable as same poses great hardship to motorists, other road users, host communities and constitutes threat to the lives of the people; hence the need for urgent government intervention”.
According to the mover, “several portions of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway are failing even while the contractors are still on the site”, as he expressed worries “that the rehabilitation works on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway has been abandoned as evident in the immense hardship being experienced by motorists and other road users in the Amansea section of the expressway.
Concerned that the economic well being of our people is now in serious jeopardy which can lead to a great humanitarian and security crisis”.
He warned that if not quickly fixed, it may present “opportunity to criminal elements to take undue advantage of these situations”.
The motion was adopted without debate, as the House resolved to “Call on the Minister of Works and Housing to commence urgent emergency repairs of the failed portion of Onitsha-Owerri Expressway with a view to easing hardship on motorists and Nigerians.
Investigate the ongoing failure of strategic portions of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway while the contractor is still carrying out rehabilitation works”.
The House, also resolved to “Investigate the abandonment of the rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway which has led to the gory condition of the Amansea section of the expressway”.