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Anambra Speaker laments contractor’s abandonment of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway



SPEAKER, Anambra State House of Assembly, Uche Okafor has observed that abandonment of ongoing refurbishment on the Enugu – Onitsha Expressway, has been exposing the road users to danger. 

  Okafor noted that the contractors had yet to return to site after the federal government eased the lockdown on the COVID-19 pandemic, urging authorities to direct them to get back to site. 

Okafor, who expressed concerns over the present condition of the road, described it as `a death trap’. 

  The speaker, while addressing newsmen at his office in Awka, noted that the apparent abandonment was causing unnecessary traffic congestion. 

  “Due to demarcations on the road placed by the contractors, it has caused a lot of inconveniences for road users.  For example, between Awka and Abba Junction, which ordinarily will take five minutes, is now taking more than 45 minutes. 

  “Just recently, Gov. Willie Obiano called the Works Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to complain about the non-return of the contractors back to site; to which the minister expressed surprise. 

 “That is to tell you that the governor has been mounting pressures on the FG to ensure they are back to sustain the good project that he (Gov. Obiano) attracted. 

 “The non-completion of the road has adversely affected other roads. The old road, for instance, which was designed for specified vehicles is now inundated by heavy trucks that ply on it on a daily basis,” Okafor pointed out. 

  He commended President Buhari for awarding the contract and other signature projects in the state and South East in general. 

  The speaker, then, called on the FG to issue marching orders to the contractors to resume while assuring speedy job delivery. 

Recall the Assembly recently passed a resolution, calling the  attention of the FG to the site. 

  Recall that the resolution followed a motion raised by the  Majority Leader and Member, representing Awka South 1 Constituency, Mr Nnamdi Okafor. 

 Okafor in his Motion, said that the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway was a major highway that connected the South-West through the River Niger to the South-East, South-South, and Northern Nigeria via Benue and Kogi. 

 According to him, the reconstruction contract was awarded to Messrs. Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) in November 2018, with a completion period of 42 months. 

He noted that the contractors were doing well until the lockdown.      “We are worried that the contractor, RCC, has yet to return to site about five months after stoppage of work. The reconstruction may be abandoned again as was done in the past.”

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