… project to boost employment of rural dwellers
…as traditional rulers, LG boss assures of a Contractors safety
By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
38 years after the Abakaliki Ring Road Project was embarked upon by the Chief Jim Nwobodo-led administration in the South East region of the country, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, weekend flagged off the Nwezenyi-Nwofe section of the ring road project in Izzi Local Government Area of the State.
The exercise which took place at Nwezenyi junction, Igbeagu-Izzi and Ogbala in Ebonyi Council Areas respectively, attracted stakeholders and members of each benefiting Community to the official function.
In his address, the Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Works, Hon Ogbonnia Obasi, urged the people to take the project as their own by providing adequate security for the safety of the workers at the sites.
The Governor stressed the need for the contractors and community leaders to work in unison for the speedy completion of the project in due time.
He said: “We are here this morning to perform one of the most important functions of the construction of Abakaliki Ring Road which is the handing over the project site to the contractors.
“Therefore, flagging off the Nwezenyi-Nwofe section will be handled by Patan and Reinforce Global Joints Venture, while the second section will be handled by CCEC Nig. Ltd AWGC respectively and it means that the construction of the road has from today commenced.
“As we have handed the site over to the contractors today. I wish to remind you people of the words of His Excellency; that we are equally handing over both workers and contractors into the hands of the stakeholders where this project is taking place.
“His Excellency has directed that stakeholders including all the council Chairmen and traditional rulers should provide them with your local security to take care of them while the project lasts in order for them not to suffer any hitches.
“Also, should give them access to good borrow pit, so that they get quality materials that they will use to do this project; contractors take care of your people, especially those who will be securing their sites and I know that they’re going to employ so many people within these areas so that they will finish the job within the stipulated eighteen months.”
Also, the State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Hon (Barr) Chioma Nweze while expatiating on the project added that the ring road project would be done on a concrete base.
“Today is very significant because when you sign a road contract, the date of handover is the day that it’s deemed that you have handed over the site to the contractors and they will set up their equipment and begin their work.
“His Excellency has renegotiated with the contractors that the road should be completed within eighteen months while still in office so that he will commission it and wherever there’s shoot out in the budget, he will know how the State may come in for it to be completed at the appropriate time.
“Just like you have heard the people saying that the road was last constructed since 1976-83 during Chief Jim Nwbodo’s time, the yearning of the people is the Governor’s concern. So, the people should expect a concrete road in the eight local government areas”
In their remarks, the Executive Chairmen, Izzi and Ebonyi Local Government Areas, Hon. Paul James Nwogha and Hon Chinyere Nwogbaga respectively described the project as putting a round peg in a round hole for the betterment of the people.
The Council Chairmen who lauded the State Governor for the initiative said the project would go a long way towards giving a boost to the economy of various communities and the State at large.
They noted that the road when completed would bring relief to the rural people who depend on the road to take their farm produce to the markets within and outside their communities.
The traditional ruler of Igbeagu Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Michael Ogbonnaya Ukwa and his Agbaja counterpart, Eze Stephen described the road project as a welcome development.
Eze Ukwa who prayed at the site thanked God and the State Governor, Engr David Umahi for remembering the people after over thirty years of abandonment of the ring road, assured the contractors of adequate security and their cooperation.
He equally prayed that the busy Nwezenyi junction would also attract a flyover to curb steady accident that has led to the loss of lives for a long time.
The Managing Director, Patan and Reinforce Global Joint Venture, Emile Wadih(Ogbajiri Igwe 1) appreciated the Umahi-led government for the project and pledged that the project would be delivered at the stipulated time even as he called on stakeholders of the area to give maximum support to the project.