From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has given federal contractors working in Abia up to November 20, 2020 to fix the dilapidated federal roads they have all the while been crawling to fix, otherwise he would take over their rehabilitation.
Ikpeazu who handed down the ultimatum in a press conference in Umuahia decried the deplorable condition of federal roads in the state.
The governor further regretted the adverse effects of the sorry-state of federal roads in the state on the economy of the state.
Governor Ikpeazu stated that his past efforts to rehabilitate federal roads in the state were frustrated with litigations by contractors and nonchalant attitude of the relevant federal ministry.
He regretted that he was halted by the federal government when he commenced rehabilitation of the federal road that links the Nigera National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Depot at Osisioma to Owerrinta in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area through to Port Harcourt.
According to him, his administration embarked on reconstruction of the NNPC Depot road because of its strategic importance and had awarded the contract at a cost 50 percent lower than what the federal government awarded the same contract.
His words: “The contractor had already done the drainage and the first three kilometre of the road was to be constructed with rigid pavement (cement) technology but the federal government came and chased the contractor away.”
Gov Ikpeazu regretted that his request to reconstruct the road due to its strategic economic importance to the state was turned down by the Ministry of Works.
He, therefore, vowed to take over the rehabilitation of all strategic federal roads in the state if the contractors failed to return to site after November 20.
“Whether I get refund or not (from FG) is immaterial. What is important is the economic survival of Abia people whose livelihoods depend on the state of the federal roads.”
Ikpeazu accused the contractors working on federal roads in the state of frustrating the economy of the state.