Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has flagged of the rehabilitation of the 73-kilometre Odukpani Junction-Ikot Okopra-Akpet 1 section of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja road.
Fashola performed the ceremony yesterday in Akpet 1, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Represented by the Minister of State in the Ministry, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Fashola said the rehabilitation of the section of the federal highway will cost N14, 017, 170, 597.90.
He said by embarking on the project, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has demonstrated that it was fully committed to bridging the infrastructural gap in the country, a measure he said would provide the stimulants for economic growth and ease of doing business.
Fashola stated that the rehabilitation work which would be done by a local construction firm, Sermatech, would be completed in 24 months.
Fashola said the federal government was investing heavily towards providing critical infrastructure by ensuring that every state in the country has at least one ongoing road project.
“This project is a 73-kilometre single carriage way. It links the industrial town of Akamkpa to Biase Yakurr road, hence its frequent plying by industrialists around the area, which led to its deterioration. The shoulders of the road have been completely eroded, while the entire alignment is riddled with alligator cracks, as well as characterised by potholes,” Fashola said.
Fashola said when the attention of the Buhari-led administration was drawn to the poor state of the road; the Federal Executive Council in November last year approved the award of the contract for the rehabilitation of the road to Sermatech at a contract sum of N14, 017, 170, 597.90.
He said, “The scope of work for the contract entails site clearance of shoulders, scarification of the existing failed carriage way, the provision of asphaltic concrete surfacing, surface dressing of shoulders, concrete lined drains, desilting of blocked culverts, reinforced concrete pipe culverts among others.
“When completed the road will greatly reduce vehicle operation maintenance cost, improve travel time, reduce accidents as well as loss of lives and property. It will also enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of the people along the corridor, generate employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labour and assist in the fight against crime.”
In his address, the Director in charge of Highways (Construction and Rehabilitations) in the Ministry, Yemi Oguntominiyi, said the massive infrastructural development embarked upon by the Buhari administration was a demonstration of its
commitment to across the six geopolitical zones in the country is aimed at providing the much needed impetus to stimulate the economy and improve the lives of the people.