From David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Six out of the 972 active erosion sites in Anambra State have been slated to gulp a total of N9billion, the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has disclosed.

Obiano stated this when he signed a contract at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, on behalf of Anambra State Government with its partners for full control work on the sites.

The N9billion contract will include works on erosion sites at Enugwu-Ukwu, Abidi-Umuoji, Nnewi-Ichi, Ojoto, Nkpor Flyover and Ire-Obosi in Idemili North local government area.

A breakdown of the contract shows that, while Enugwu-Ukwu and Abidi-Umuoji sites would cost N2billion, Nnewi-Ichi and Ojoto sites which costs N5billion would be handled by a Chinese firm. Nkpor Flyover and Ire-Obosi sites would he handled by an indigenous company, Monier Construction Company, MCC, at the cost of N2billion.

Obiano explained that all the projects which had completion period of 24 months, were being executed under a partnership involving the World Bank, the Federal Government and the State Government.

The governor lamented that because of the menace of erosion in the state, Anambra had been reduced to the smallest state in Nigeria in terms of landmass.

He said his government had fully paid its counterpart funding for the contracts to ensure that nothing hinders the project on its side.

He noted that the state government had also commenced activities to check practices that give impetus to erosion such as improper termination of drainage, encouraging communities to plant trees, discouraging indiscriminate bush burning and dumping of refuse among others.

The Commissioner for Environment and Beautification, Mike Okonkwo, said the NEWMAP has done Resettlement Action Plan, RAP, where all residents affected by the erosion had been paid full compensation to the tune of N270million, adding that with this measure, the execution of the projects will be smooth.

The Chairman/CEO, MCC Nigeria Limited, Senator John Azuta-Mbuta commended the state government for what he described as the excellent due process and transparency observed in the state’s bidding process and promised that having been selected, his company would deliver according to budget and specifications.