News

June 22, 2024

We’ve completed rehabilitation of 90 roads in Abia – Otti

Otti

Gov. Alex Otti of Abia says his administration has completed the reconstruction of 90 roads that were at different stages of dilapidation when he assumed office.

Otti said this during his interaction with newsmen for June at the Government House, Umuahia on Friday night.

He said: “All the 90 roads were done by our Ministry of Works by direct labour, and some of them fit into our Zero Pothole Policy.

“We have reconstructed and rebuilt and inaugurated 16 roads.

“We have also worked on another 16 roads at the moment and the total length of the 16 roads is about 165 kilometers running through the different senatorial districts of the state.”

The governor said that the State Government had awarded the “long abandoned and very difficult Ohanku Road”.

He described the road as very strategic, leading to various settlements in Aba.

He further said that the rigid pavement technology would be applied in fixing it.

“For those who have visited the area, I am sure that you would confirm that work has started on the road, so also a few other roads in Aba.

“We are very strategic about roads because we believe very strongly that access is key to a thriving economy.

“We have a plan to touch every road in every Local Government in the next 12 months.

“At the moment, we are compiling a list of the strategic roads that we will take on as we go into our second year,” he said.

Otti said that plans were underway to secure virement from the 2024 budget for road construction, because “it appears that we are running faster than our budget on roads”.

He said that this would enable the government to have enough money to work on more roads and give access to different communities in the state.

On healthcare, he expressed the determination of the government to evolve programmes and policies that would transform the health sector of the state.

Otti said that as part of its efforts, the government had commenced the rehabilitation of general hospitals across the state.

He also said that the government was determined to rehabilitate the primary healthcare centres and it would be in batches to make the centres operational.

“Of course, the state University Teaching Hospital is on course, a lot of work needs to be done both in terms of infrastructure and the skills.

“i understand that 19 disciplines or areas have already received accreditation, we will continue to build on that,” he said.

The governor also spoke on what the government was doing on education, particularly the huge dilapidation of the public schools.

He said that his administration had started remodelling public schools in its resolve to improve educational standard to provide a conducive learning environment.

“We are not discouraged. We are just taking them in phases.

“We are not complaining but it is important that we remind ourselves where we are coming from and know that Rome was not built in a day.

“The most important thing is that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.

Also on agriculture, Otti said that the government had been paying a lot of attention to agriculture because of its desire to achieve food security in the state.

He said: “In the last one week, we had dispatched 300 persons of Abia origin to Nassarawa to do sophisticated mechanised agricultural training by CSS Farms, one of the leading farms in the country

“These 300 people were drawn from the 124 political wards, as the whole idea is that they would be able to train others as they come back.

“So, all these are geared toward achieving food security.”

Otti also said that the government was desirous to partner reputable organisations to boost the production of palm oil, rubber, cocoa, plantain and rice, amongst others.

On security, he said that the government takes security seriously and remains committed to ensuring the security of lives and property in the state.

He expressed regrets over the killing of five soldiers in Aba on  May 30, describing the incident as dastardly and a breach in security.

He gave assurance that the government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that everyone connected with the killing was apprehended.

He said that the government had issued enough warnings and now resolved more than ever before to deal decisively with hoodlums, who refused to relocate out of the state.

Otti said that his administration had prioritised workers’ welfare, hence salaries were now paid on the 28th of every month.

According to him, other pending issues inherited from the previous administration, such as promotion and arrears of leave allowances, were being looked into.