Abia Gov Flags off Arochukwu Road Reconstruction

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The jinx of bad roads, which inspired the age-old saying, ‘there’s no easy route to Arochukwu’ is set to be broken as Governor Alex Otti Thursday flagged off the reconstruction of the shortest route from Umuahia to Arochukwu.

The 30km Arochukwu-Ndi Okereke-Ozuabam road is considered the shortest connection to access Arochukwu from Umuahia, the capital city and vice versa. But it had been abandoned over the years

Arochukwu Local Government is at the northern tip of Abia State and is plagued by bad roads so much so that travelling through Akwa Ibom State offers the easiest route to the area.

In his speech at the flag-off ceremony held at Amuvi Arochukwu, Governor Otti said that his policy of road reconstruction was aimed at “creating new pathways for social and economic development”.

He noted that the deplorable condition of roads was among the “many impediments that limit the capacity of individuals and businesses to function at their fullest potential”.

According to him, his administration was committed to the “consistent removal of such impediments” to growth in order to improve the living condition of the people across rural and urban communities.

Otti lamented the utter neglect of “most economically viable roads” in the state over the years resulting in the state paying huge economic price in lost opportunities.

“Farmers in rural communities found it difficult to move their produce to the markets leading to heavy post-harvest losses,” he said.

“Most painfully, businessmen and women from different parts of Nigeria and the West African sub-region who had relied on markets in Aba for supplies quickly took their patronage to other places.”

The Abia governor stated that his government has made a covenant to bring succour to the people after many years of frustrations, hence “road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance must be made major priorities”.

Aside from boosting the state economy, Otti also noted that the expansion of scope of road reconstruction would also strengthen inter-community bonds, thereby engendering peaceful coexistence and rapid development of the tourism sector.

He said that the Arochukwu-Ndi Okereke-Ozuabam road would be ready in about 12 months time, adding that “over 30 road projects are simultaneously going on in different parts of the state”.

The Abia chief executive appealed to people and businesses residing in the state to pay their taxes and other statutory fees “with religious commitment” in order to assist government deliver the goods.

He advised people to desist from criminal destruction of public infrastructure, warning that such acts would attract dire consequences.

Stakeholders and traditional rulers from Arochukwu Local Government, who spoke at the event, narrated the harrowing experience of the people of the area due to deplorable condition of the abandoned road.

They each expressed a sense of relief and thanked Governor Otti for coming to their rescue by embarking on the reconstruction of the Arochukwu-Ndi Okereke-Ozuabam road.

The Commissioner for Works, Don Oti, had earlier in his address, stated that the reconstruction of the road would spur the economic development of the communities in the area.

He assured the people that the contracting firm handling the road project would follow specifications outlined in the design and deliver a smooth, long-lasting road to Arochukwu.

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