The Federal Government has started the reconstruction of the Onitsha-Awka-Enugu Highway. This is in fulfillment of its promise to the South-East before the April 2011 General Elections.
The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, said this in Onitsha yesterday while inspecting the extent of damage on the road. Onolememen said the first phase of the project would cover the Head-Bridge junction to Upper Iweka, both in Onitsha. He also added that palliative work would be done on the parts of the road leading to the Onitsha-Owerri road.
Onolememen said the contractor handling the road had been fully mobilised for the first phase and its palliative work; while work on the other phases would follow later.
"As I can see, this road is critical and deplorable as Gov. Peter Obi described it when he visited me in my office.
"The President has directed for work to commence and it has started already," Onolememen said.
The Minister also announced that work would start commence on the second Niger Bridge as President Jonathan had ordered.
"Mr President is committed to the second Niger Bridge Project and would want to deliver it before he leaves office as he has promised," he said.
Onolememen complained about the attitude of traders who make use of the service lane of the road for trading and mounting of bill-boards.
"The contractor must work with the controller of work and the state authorities to get these people and these bill-boards out for the reconstruction to continue without hitches," he said.
Mr Hishem Gosayni, the Area Manager of Consolidated Construction Company (CCC), the contractor in charge of the road, said the company had been mobilised to continue work, assuring that it would deliver a quality job within the time frame.
Hishem appealed to Onitsha residents and the Anambra state government to co-operate with the company, to enable it delivers on schedule.
In his response, the Anambra state governor, Peter Obi thanked the minister for facilitating work on the road, "especially at the beginning of the road, which is considered to be critical".
"I will assure you Sir, that I will personally supervise this project myself," Obi said.