….calls for investigation
By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives has called on the Minister of Works and Housing to urgently carry out emergency repairs of failed portions of federal highways in the country with a view to easing hardship on motorists and Nigerians, especially during the rainy season.
This followed a motion of urgent public importance on the need to avert a humanitarian and security crisis due to the conditions of the Onitsha-Owerri, Enugu-Port Harcourt and Enugu-Onitsha federal highways by Hon Toby Okechukwu and 79 others.
The House also sought the investigation of the failure of strategic portions of the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway while rehabilitation work is still ongoing by the contractor. It also called for the investigation of the abandonment of the rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway which has led to the gory condition of the Amansea section of the expressway.
The House said a gully had suddenly emerged on the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway around Oraifute, Ekwusigo Local Government Area, Anambra State. It further noted that this development has cut the expressway into two parts leading to the entrapment of a fuel tanker laden with diesel in the gully.
The House said it was aware that it took the intervention of the personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure that the contents of the trapped tanker was trans-loaded while the remaining portion of the road remains closed, to avoid loss of lives.
It said that the Onitsha–Owerri Expressway offers a bypass to several communities in the South-East as well as connects the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones of the country. It was worried that the present condition of the road has made it completely impassable and poses great hardship and threatens the lives of motorists, other road users and host communities among others.
The House worried that that several portions of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway are failing even while the contractors are still on the site. It also worried that the rehabilitation works on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway has been abandoned as evident in the immense hardship being experienced by motorists and other road users in the Amansea section of the expressway.
The House was concerned that the economic well being of the people is in serious jeopardy which can lead to a great humanitarian and security crisis. It was it was cognizant of the precarious security situation across the nation which may present an opportunity to criminal elements to take undue advantage of these situations.