‘FG, NDDC not Involved in Aba Urban Renewal Projects’

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Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo

The controversy generated by Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, over the funding of the road reconstruction projects going on in the commercial city of Aba, Abia State has continued to rage across the state.

Kalu had, in apparent bid to attract votes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Aba federal constituency by-election slated for today, claimed that the federal government was funding the road projects in Aba through his intervention.

Though Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has dismissed the claim as outright deceit and disinformation, Senator Kalu has not withdrawn his claims with the APC faithful and a section of Aba residents holding on to what the Abia North Senator has said.

But the Managing Director of ECKLEEN Integrated Services, the contractor handling the 2.3km Osusu Road project in Aba, Mr. Uzoma Onuoha has joined the fray, saying that it was wrong for Kalu to claim federal involvement in the projects his firm was doing for the state government.

Speaking with journalists yesterday in Aba, Onuoha said that he was surprised to hear that a contract awarded to his firm by Abia State Government was awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC).

“It is to my utmost consternation and it shocked me to my marrow that somebody will just come up overnight to claim a job I did for the Abia State Government, of which I have the documents to substantiate my claims.

“This contract (Osusu road project) was awarded in the year 2018 and since then, I have never had anything to do with the NDDC,” Onuoha said.

Brandishing contract documents on the road project, the contractor said all through the period the road construction lasted there was no NDDC presence as it was the Abia State Ministry of Works that supervised the project.

He therefore threatened to sue Senator Kalu over “this fallacious, misleading claim and a lie from the pit of hell” which intended to tarnish the image of his construction firm.

Onuoha argued that if the road project was done by the NDDC how come no official of the agency came to monitor or supervise the project at any point in time nor were they present when the road was inaugurated.

He stated that he was not a registered contractor with NDDC and had never handled any project for the Commission, stressing that he was a business man doing projects for the Abia State Government.

Onuoha urged Kalu, who is a former governor of Abia, not to drag ECKLEEN into his political propaganda aimed at scoring cheap political points and unmerited popularity.