Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Commercial and private vehicle owners plying the Calabar-Ikom highway may now eave the sigh of relief as the gederal government rehabilitates some critical spots along the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja highway in Cross River State.
The Uyanga, Adim and Iyamoyong axis of the busy Calabar-Ikom road had been soar points for commuters who usually spent hours accessing the route due to its bad state.
The emergency intervention project, which is handled by Sermatech Nigeria Limited, was initiated by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, after his inspection of ongoing Federal Government projects under his ministry in Cross River State in February 2017.
During his visit, Fashola had referred to the intervention as a pain management solution that was meant to ease the trauma on the road during the rainy season, adding that the expansion work on the road is in the pipeline.
Project Manager of Sermatech, Mr. Desmond Ewa, said the emergency intervention was carried out through the aid of credit facilities from bank.
He said, â€œThe points of intervention are between Uyanga to Okomita (1.25km), Okomita to Akpet (925 metres), Akpet, Adim and Iyamoyong (1.4 km).
â€œThe inclement weather has not favoured us because the project was not awarded on time. You know too that in emergency contract there is no mobilisation, so, we are working with the loans that we secured from the banks.
â€œWe are appealing to the Federal Government to release our funds as soon as we are rounding off so that we can pay back our creditors. At the moment, we have asphalted the Uyanga bad stretch of the road.â€
A commercial bus driver, who plies the Calabar-Ikom route, Mr. Andrew Inok, said the intervention was timely as road users would have found it extremely difficult to ply the road during the rainy season.
Inok specifically noted that several tankers used to be stranded for days in the Adim axis because the road became impassable.
He said, â€œThis intervention by the Federal Government is a welcome development. I recall how the road was before the intervention. At some points, trucks and lorries could no longer access the road while smaller vehicles took other longer routes to get to their destinations.”
Another road user, Udeme Bassey, however, appealed to the minister to also intervene in two gully erosion spots at the Odukpani and Akpet axis that might soon divide the road.
â€œThese two critical erosion spots might soon cut off Calabar from the rest of the country,â€ he said.