From Emmanuel Iyoho
The Federal government has reaffirmed its pledge to complete the ongoing dualisation and rehabilitation of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road in Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
The director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Folorunsho Esan, an engineer, made the reaffirmation, recently, during the inspection of work on the 83.3 kilometres road being handled by Julius Berger, SERMATEC and CCECC companies.
Esan called on the state governments to prevail on its people who have structures on the right of way to remove them in order not to frustrate the effort of the contractors so that the roads could be delivered on target since the land belong to the state government.
He said, “The challenges are mainly on the right of way.People have their structures on the right of way and this will delay the work. The land belongs to the states, they are the owners of the land, and they are the ones that can talk to them so that we can have space to work.”
The director disclosed that funding was not a problem as the road is being funded by the Nigerian National PetroleumCompany (NNPC), under the Federal Government Tax Credit Scheme.
The director expressed satisfaction at the pace of work by Julius Berger and SERMATECK companies, while urging CCECC to improve on its pace of work.
Esan informed newsmen that the bridge on Section IV of the East-West Road in Akwa Ibom would be opened to traffic soon.
He said: “The contractor is working on the bridge so that it can open up traffic in order to work on the other side of the road. They are saying it will take them eight weeks and we are taking them by their words”.
He disclosed that the road was under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs before it was recently handed over to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to continue with the supervision and completion.
Esan added that the East-West Road was not yet under the Tax Credit Scheme but hoped that it would be part of it soon.
The federal controller of Works in Cross River, Mr Bassey Nsentip, an engineer, said the contractors have the equipmentsand were willing to work, saying that the road project included five bridges and several culverts.
Bakari Kehinde and Joseph Ukpata, all site engineers of Julius Berger and SERMATECK respectively, also called on Cross River and Akwa Ibom State governments to help in resolving the problem of the right of way.