Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Abia State Government says all is set for the flag off of the total reconstruction of the deplorable Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Ohafia road, on Wednesday by Gov. Alex Otti.
Commissioner for Information, Prince Okey Kanu, who disclosed this at a press briefing after the State Executive Council meeting in Umuahia, said the move was in keeping with Governor’s avowed commitment to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the state.
He said that Otti was determined to holistically address the challenge of road infrastructure which had been a major setback in the state.
Ikengaonline recalls that Otti has been on massive road rehabilitation since he came on board on May 29.
Some key roads in Aba have been delivered while work is at various stages of completion in many others including the Port Harcourt Road Aba and the six-lane road expansion project of Ossah Umuahia.
The Commissioner regretted that the Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Ohafia road which is the major entry point from Abia North to the state capital, had been in deplorable condition for many years.
According to him, the road has been divided into three sections, and three different construction firms engaged to handle the project.
The construction firms include: Craneburg assigned to Umuahia- Uzuakoli stretch; Ferotex handling Uzuakoli-Akara Isuikwuato stretch; while CCECC is to handle Abiriba- Ohafia axis.
He called on Abians within the stretch of the roads to troupe out en masse to witness the flag-off ceremony.
The Commissioner also announced that Government was embarking on maintenance of 22 new roads scattered across the state.
He said three new roads namely; Umuode, Bakassi and Umuehilegbu – all within the Ariaria International market axis had been procured and ready for rehabilitation.
Prince Kanu said that the rehabilitation of the three new roads underscores the importance the administration of Governor Alex Otti attaches to developing infrastructure in the State especially as it concerns promotion of commerce and industry.
The Commissioner further said that Government had outlawed multiple task forces in the state adding that a new single multiple purpose outfit would soon be introduced with stringent enforcement operations against illegal task force activities.
He further explained that the State Government in a bid to elevate Umuahia to a true state capital, would in two weeks time begin the enforcement of policies aimed at removing unauthorised extension and building attachments, emphasising that commercial and residential buildings are expected to be utilised according to their designated purposes.
Speaking on the proposed demolition exercise, the General Manager, Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA), Mr Kingsley Agomuo, said that affected illegal structures had been identified since November last year while government has already engaged the owners of the structures, insisting that there is no going back on the two weeks grace/deadline granted.
On the activities of touts in Aba and Umuahia, the Commissioner for Budget and Planing, Mr Kingsley Anosike and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, said drastic measures would be taken against anybody seen harassing people about taxes and other levies.
He said that Otti’s administration had long ended the era of illegal revenue collections.
According to him, payment of taxes and other levies approved by Government is now done electronically.
He, therefore, urged residents to always cooperate with government approved task force and enforcement officers who are empowered to check their payment receipts.