By Ernest ChinwoÂ in Port Harcourt
The Enugu State Government has awarded contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of more urban and rural roads at the cost of over N1.170 billion.
In a similar development, the state government in a bid to reposition the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu to meet with the standard and generate revenue, dissolved the Board of the hotel. Addressing newsmen after the meeting of the State Executive Committee (EXCO), the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Greg Nnaji disclosed that the new road projects include the Achi Akpa â€“Daughters of Divine Love (DDL) Juniorate Main Entrance, Abakpa-Nike, Enugu East Local Government Area; Colliery Avenue to Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Headquarters, Enugu North L.G.A, and Reconstruction of Ezenwani Akpaka and Isukwuato Street/Ogui road, Asata Enugu at the cost of N46.309m, N32.348m and N19.996m, respectively.
Other projects include the re-awarded contract for the completion of Orie Emene-Adoration Ground road (Adoration Ground section), Emene, Enugu East L.G.A and the extension of Nkwo Inyi-Akpugo Eze- Anambra State border road in Oji River L.G.A, at the cost of N418.654m and N653.268m, respectively.
The works commissioner explained that the contractor handling the Orie Emene-Adoration Ground road withdrew formally, which necessitated the decision of the council to re-award the contract to another construction company, adding that the beauty of it was that â€œthe government will not spend any extra cost but the balance of the initial contract sumâ€.
Nnaji further explained that the Colliery road, which was abandoned for over 20 years needed to be rehabilitated because of its relevance, considering that the â€œOne Stop Investment Shopâ€ office of the Ease of Doing Business is located there.
He noted that the government shifted its attention to Oji River L.G.A in line with the resolve to attract development to every corner of the state as well as the rural development agenda, adding that the council decided to complete the Nkwo Inyi â€“ Akpugo Eze-Anambra State border road to promote economic growth and reduce urban migration.Â Â
Nnaji stated that the state government had remained consistent with the duration of contract executions, and stressed that the money for the payment of all contracts awarded were available, saying: â€œWe have the project, we have the company and we have the money to payâ€.
He therefore, encouraged all contractors in the state to endeavor to complete their projects in due time and according to specifications.Â Â
On the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Rita Mbah said that following the dissolution of the Board of the establishment, the council directed her ministry to take over the management of the hotel pending the constitution of a proper management.
Hon. Mbah added that the government planned to embark on extensive renovation of the hotel and put all the facilities in place to bring it up to standard to generate revenue for the state as well as explore its potentials for public-private partnership.
According to her, â€œNike Lake Resort Hotel is actually meant to be a tourist site and we have lake there. We intend to dredge the lake and put a boat ride. A lot of things have to be done there and only government can do those things and this is the reason for taking over the hotel by the government.
â€œThe government is talking to major Hotels.Â But before they come in, we have to improve the standard of Nike Lake to a particular level. Actually, the hotel is under privatisation and commercialisation. It is open for anybody to come and investâ€.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe told newsmen that the council in compliance with a letter from the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) approved the setting up of a 15-man committee that would be advising government on the best ways of tackling drug-related matters in the state.
Mr. Anikwe also announced the reconstitution of a 5-man stateâ€™s Muslim Pilgrims Board, to enable Enugu Indigenes who are Muslims to participate in Muslim pilgrimage, adding that approval was given for the sponsorship of 15 persons, accordingly. Â