By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY— UNENDING litigations and citizens’ encroachment into government right of way have been attributed to the delay in the completion of the dualisation of the Benin-Auchi-Okenne-Lokoja highway, which reconstruction has been on since 2013.
The Federal Controller of Works and Housing (Works), Edo State, Dr. Razaq Aransiola, made the revelation in Benin City, yesterday at a joint press conference with the Edo State Commissioner for Roads and Bridges, Newton Okojie and his Environment counterpart, John Lawani, on the state of roads in the state.
He said people have created artificial obstacles and used the same to claim damages from the state government to the extent that the ministry was considering creating a bypass out of Ekpoma because of the volume of request for compensation from residents, whose activities he said had created obstacles to the dualisation of the road.
He said: “In Edo State, we have at least 20 court cases. People will come and claim that it is because of the road construction that led to water flowing their houses, even if that place is the lowest point that water has been going; they will still sue the Federal Government. I have always insisted that I cannot go beyond 45.72 metres which is the right of way.”
Earlier, Okojie said the administration of Godwin Obaseki has asphalted over 545.7km of roads to reduce the paved road deficit of the state even as he released a 30-year road infrastructure development plan for the state.
He said: “As at April 2022, the total length of road asphalted was 545.7Km and this figure should have increased by now. Total length of roads yet to be asphalted but ongoing is 314.3Km and total length of road designed and awaiting approval for award is over 100Km.
On his part, Lawani said his ministry had identified roads to be desilted regularly to check flooding in the city as the government continues to check various challenges as they relate to the environment affecting the state.