Posted by News Express | 18 December 2016 | 2,739 times
Bad federal road.
The Federal Government has commenced rehabilitation work on the failed portion of the Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road to alleviate the hardship and sufferings experienced by Nigerians who ply the road daily.
Umuahia Ikot Ekpene Road is of major economic importance because of heavy vehicular movement as goods and services from Calabar, Cameroon, Akwa Ibom are transported to other parts of the country daily.
But due to its deplorable state, it has become a source of worry to Nigerian citizens whose vehicles damage at intervals.
Motorists, heavy trucks carrying goods and services are usually stuck on the road for days while resident of the area usually trek or ride on motorcycles in order to get to their respective homes.
Most of the pot holes, due to lack of maintenance, have turned into deep gullies and when it rains, the flood enters into all the buildings and homes located around the road.
Residents living around the Ikwuano axis have also been lamenting over the untold hardship caused by the flooded road that has taken over their houses and farmlands.
Although, the road has received a lot of palliative measures, these have not helped much because it usually collapses after a while due to heavy vehicular movement.
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) had always blamed the regular collapse on that pressure but the federal government has now heeded the appeal for a permanent solution and has mobilised contractors to site.
The intervention is good news to the residents and their representatives and they have been thankful but not without a call on the contractors and FERMA to do a durable and quality road rehabilitation that would last.
One of the traditional rulers of the area, King Larry Ogbonna, said: “I will not call FERMA to handle the contract for this road; I have said it before. The reason is because the FERMA we have been seeing on this road is a fake FERMA, the real FERMA is in the north.
“But today, we have been assured that this FERMA is original, we will accommodate them but I must warn you that if you are the fake FERMA, please pack your things now because we do not want to see the FERMA people that would use kettle to pour bitumen on the road.
“Please FERMA, the people are begging you to give us a very good job because we have suffered too much in your hand due to shady jobs and instead of repairs, we only see more damages.
“I am begging you as a traditional ruler, because we are peaceful people, we will work with you and anything that you need, please let us know, we will give you every assistance you need for you to give us a very good job.”
‘We Will Deliver’
To drive home the commitment of ensuring a quality road rehabilitation work, Abraham Akange of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Abia State assured the people that the agency would deliver a durable and quality road.
“The problem of Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road is that when it was constructed it was not envisaged that it would be carrying as much load as it is carrying now, and the problem we have in this country now is the absence of effective rail transport.
“Haulage mainly is done on the road and the roads are over stretched, and that is the main reason we have been having issues on our federal highways. We pray that the federal government would put more effort in the development of the rail system.
“What we are seeing today is the completion of procurement process, subsequent award to our contractors and hand over of the site to them.
“On our part, what I am promising you is that I would make sure that quality materials are used and the road is well constructed.
“This is because FERMA has developed an application to test-run and carry out laboratory test on the materials that we are going to use for the construction work. So I assure you that the materials that would be used on these roads would be subjected to analysis before we allow it to be used on the site.
“The application is a new development that we hope would aid us to prevent the incessant failure or collapse of repaired roads.
“On the part of the community, I am appealing to you that what we require is absolute cooperation so that our contractors, equipment would not have issues.
“We appeal for your understanding, hoping that at the end of the project we will all have cause to smile.”
The failed portion of the road that would get attention include, Okwe Ukwu, Ndioro, Umudike junction amongst others. (Channels TV)