State Of Federal Projects In Abia: NSE Visits FMWH…As Engr. Onwubiko gives an update
By Our Reporter
As stakeholders in sustainable infrastructural development and engineering regulating and monitoring inspectorate in Abia state, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Umuahia branch has visited the Controller, Federal Ministry of Work and Housing (works sector), field headquarters, Umuahia, to know the status of the Federal road projects in the State.
Of concern were the status of Uturu –Isuikwuato-Akara road; 50-km Umuahia –Ikot Ekpene road; Ikot Ekpene-Aba-Owerri road dualization; Ohafia- Arochukwu road and Aba- Portharcourt section of the Enugu –Portharcourt express way.
Presenting an address during a familiarization visit to the Ministry, Engr.Ifeanyi-Madu Angela (MNSE) Acting Chairman NSE Umuahia branch, who appreciated to the immediate past Federal Controller of the Ministry, Engr. Bede Obioha, for his support toward the branch and the growth of the engineering profession, also assured the new Federal Controller of the Ministry, Engr. Anthony Toochukwu Onwubiko and his lieutenants of the branch support and readiness to partnership with the ministry in achieving its set goals and objectives.
Her words, “On our previous visit to the immediate past controller, we facilitated with ministry on its giant stride of works ongoing and yet to commence works, most recent of these works are those announced by the Minister for Works and Housing, His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola on 30th April, 2022 after the Federal Executive Council, FEC that approval for Uturu –Isuikwato-Akara road in Abia State, and also the re-approval of the reconstruction of the 50-km Umuahia –Ikot Ekpene road in 2021, to be funded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation through tax credit scheme by Hartland Nigeria limited.
“Similarly the approval of the construction of phase two of the Ikot Ekpene Aba Owerri road dualization on 26 January, 2022 and the approval by FEC on the 23 September, 2020 of the Ohafia-Arochukwu road and finally the situation of the Aba-Portharcourt section of the Enugu –Portharcourt express way”.
The Umuahia Branch NSE boss passionately called on the Ministry to increase its effort within the state to improve the welfare of the people in the state.
Responding, the new Federal Controller of the Ministry, Engr. Anthony Toochukwu Onwubiko disclosed that funding was the major factor that delayed the Uturu- Isuikwuato-Akara road project initially but with the sovereign Sukuk fund gotten by the Federal Government, works have commenced on the road.
According to him, the testing of materials needed for the project has commenced also, even as he expressed hope that in the year 2024, the road would be ready for use.
On the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road, the Federal Controller said that contractors are on site and the and the job is being funded through the tax credit scheme through the NNPC.
He disclosed that they have the assurance from the NNPC that the funds are available for the project. He also said that work has been completed from kilometer 14 to 17 and as well from kilometer 0 (Ikot Ekpene junction in Umuahia).
Engr. Onwubiko pointed out that the scarification of the top layer of the road was not to spoil it but to make it okay to receive the next coating of asphalt, they will do on it.
He further disclosed that they would have done a repair work on the road to ease the flow of vehicles but they were limited due to paucity of funds for the project and inflation which affected the pump price of diesel and other materials.
On the Aba-Ikot Ekpene road, Engr. Onwubiko disclosed that the Ministry has recovered all the bad spots on that road (the Abia section) and some sections also have been asphalted.
He said, what is delaying the other part closed to Aba (Opobo junction and Ohanze road) was the compensation for buildings/properties that would be knocked down.
Engr. Onwubiko who also gave an insight/progressive reports on Ohafia- Arochukwu road and Aba- Portharcourt section of the Enugu –Portharcourt express way, assured the Engineers of quality of work, as they engaged professionals for the projects.