May 19, 2024

Umahi, Momoh, Oshiomhole, inspect ongoing reconstruction of Benin-Abuja Road

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THERE was a wide jubilation in Edo State, weekend, as the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi alongside the Minister of Niger Delta Development Affairs, Engr. Abubakar Momoh embarked on inspection tour of the ongoing reconstruction of the Benin-Abuja express road.

The ongoing reconstruction of the road which has been in a deplorable condition is a significant stride towards enhancing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

 Also part of the entourage were Senator Adams Oshiomhole, who is representing Edo North in the National Assembly; and Senator Monday Okpebholo, the All Progressives Congress, APC gubernatorial candidate in the September 2024, governorship election in Edo State.

The presence of such a high-powered delegation elicited widespread jubilation among residents and other Nigerians, underscoring the road’s importance.

Addressing the crowd, Umahi disclosed that the project had been reassigned to BUA after previous contractor, Dantata and Sawoe, Mother Cat, and RCC, allegedly failed to deliver despite receiving substantial payments.

According to a statement by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, Special Assistant to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, the

contractors allegedly abandoned the project even after a presidential revaluation approval that amounted to billions in variations.

Umahi emphasized the government’s determination to rectify the situation, highlighting the significant efforts by Abubakar Momoh, Adams Oshiomhole, and Senator Monday Okpebholo, adding that their relentless advocacy and strategic negotiations were instrumental in securing an agreement with BUA to repair 60 kilometers of the road under a tax credit scheme.

The statement quoted him as saying, “The commitment of these leaders has been paramount in achieving this breakthrough. We are here to ensure that this vital infrastructure project is completed efficiently and effectively.”

Engineer Momoh recounted the challenging journey to garner presidential attention for the deteriorating road, lamenting that, “Since 2012, the contract has seen no significant progress, leading to the worst state of disrepair we’ve ever witnessed.”

He recounted how he, Oshiomhole, and Okpebholo had sleepless nights trying to get the president’s approval for the reconstruction of the road.

He expressed profound gratitude to President Tinubu, Oshiomhole, Okpebholo, and Senator Umahi for their unwavering support and efforts.

“Their dedication has made this day a reality, bringing hope and relief to our communities,” the Minister said.

On his part, Oshiomhole highlighted the necessity of holding the failed contractors accountable.

He said, “Nigerians deserve an explanation from those who took taxpayer money and neglected their duties.”

The APC governorship candidate, Senator Okpebholo, said, “This achievement brings immense joy and signifies a new era of development and progress for our people,” Okpebholo stated. He emphasized the project’s critical importance in boosting local and national development.

The Benin-Abuja road holds immense strategic importance for both Edo State residents and Nigerians nationwide. Serving as a major arterial route, it facilitates the seamless movement of goods, services, and people between the southern and northern regions, thereby playing a crucial role in commerce and socio-economic activities.

The road’s reconstruction is not merely an infrastructure improvement; it is the restoration of a vital link that supports economic growth and national integration.