January 28, 2024

Tinubu having sleepless nights over inherited bad economy – Umahi

Tinubu having sleepless nights over inherited bad economy – Umahi

Minister of Works, David Umahi

By Steve Oko

UMUAHIA – Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, said President Bola Tinubu is having sleepless nights on how to solve inherited bad economy.

The Works Minister stated this when he inspected a project in Aba on Saturday.

According to the former Governor of Ebonyi State, President Tinubu is having nightmares on how to deal with the barrage of problems created by the bad economy.

Meanwhile, the minister has ordered immediate arrest of some recalcitrant traders plying their trade on the completed section of the Aba axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, which is currently under total reconstruction.

Umahi who expressed his dissatisfaction over the activities of the street traders regretted that while the President is making efforts to fix the country, some citizens are busy compounding the situation.

The ministered directed the security operatives attached to his motorcade to arrest the traders.

The enraged Minister said that the erring traders would be prosecuted for economic sabotage.

He expressed plains that the traders showed no respect for the project noting that the road had been in dilapidated condition for years.

The former governor said he would advise the Abia State Government to set up a taskforce to go after street traders in Aba.

He said, “It appears the people here like to inflict injuries on themselves. They can’t even allow the contractor to work.

“They drive against traffic. They use the completed road for parks, trading and dumping of refuse.

“The whole of Aba refuse is being dumped on this road. It is not encouraging at all.

“I will advise the governor to set up a task force here.

“We wouldn’t like after the Federal Government had spent so much here we see people building and trading on the road.

“So, the only way out for this work to be completed is for the governor to set up a task force and clear the road.

“The citizens of this country will need to do their bit, while leadership also does its bit. That is the only way it will work.”

Umahi said it was not ideal for some folks to destroy public infrastructure in pursuit of their selfish interests.

“While Mr President is passing through sleepless nights on how to solve the problems of a very bad inherited economy, Nigerians should support him and also support themselves.”

Umahi, however, expressed satisfaction with the job done by the Arab Contractors handling the project.

He attributed delays in the project awarded about 10 years ago, to high cost of construction materials.

He advocated the use of cement technology which, according to him is cheaper and more durable.

“When I came on board in August 2023, bitumen was N500,000 per ton, but today it’s about N1.3 million.

“That is why we are asking, can we go for concrete that is almost about 95 per cent sourced locally?”

Speaking earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in Abia, Tony Onwubiko, said that the project covered about 57km from Abia Tower in Umuahia to the Railway Crossing at Alaoji in Osisioma Local Government Area.

Umahi had during his earlier visit in November 2023, assured that one lane of the dual carriage highway would be made through from Aba to Port Harcourt boundary.

Vanguard reports that there has been a tremendous improvement on the highway while nearly collapsed before this time, thus making movement along the axis a nightmare.