“In addition to these roads, we also inspected the N40 billion Aba-Port Harcourt section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway…
Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
The Federal Government said it has expended N16.6 billion on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of four roads in the whole of South-East zone of the country.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said this while reacting to a statement credited to South-east governors that the federal government has failed the region in the provision of infrastructure.
Mohammed said this yesterday, in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, at the launch of canvassers across the state for the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari/Yemi Osinbajo in 2019.
He said: “Permit me to use this platform to refute the statement credited to governors of the South-East geo-political zone that the federal government has failed the zone in the provision of infrastructure.
“While this claim may have made headlines, it is totally untrue; the governors were either misquoted or they were quoted out of context. Either way, this allegation flies in the face of available evidence.
“I make bold to say that no part of the country, including the Southeast, has been left out of the massive infrastructure projects of this administration. In fact, a total of 69 federal government projects are currently ongoing in the South-East.”
The minister added that federal government would soon publish the full list of the projects and the state-by-state breakdown.
“Suffice it to say that the South East, just like other geo-political zones, got N16.6 billion worth of projects from the proceeds of the N100 billion Sukuk Bond, shared equally among the six zones.
“Federal government is currently rehabilitating four roads in the zone. The four roads being rehabilitated and reconstructed by the proceeds of the Sukuk Bond are: Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section II (Umuahia Tower-Aba township rail/road bridge crossing in Abia State; Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section I (Lokpanta–Umahia Tower) in Abia state; outstanding section of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway (Amansea – Enugu state Border); Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway Section III (Enugu-Lokpanta) in Enugu State.
“In addition to these roads, we also inspected the N40 billion Aba-Port Harcourt section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, a strategic road linking Aba and other industrial heartland of the East, with Port Harcourt, the nation’s oil hub. Let me say that these projects were awarded by the last administration which, however, failed to provide funding. As a matter of fact, a section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt road, which cuts across many states, was turned to a refuse dump before this administration came to the rescue. Then, there is the construction of the second Niger Bridge, which we also inspected. The ground-breaking of the construction of the second Niger Bridge was performed on March 10, 2014, but could not take of until 2017.
“The bridge, which is 1.59-kilometre in length, forms part of the 11.90-kilometre project. The contractor, Julius Berger, has completed the first three phases of the project, which have to do with the substructures. They are currently on the fourth phase, which is at 70 percent completion stage. Some 310 of the 615 piles designed for the bridge have been sunk, while massive sand-filling of the approach road has been carried out to the height of five metres…”