Abia Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has described road infrastructure as the oil that lubricates trade and commerce and appealed to the federal government to urgently address the deplorable state of federal roads in the South East and South South geopolitical zones.
The Governor made the appeal at the Government House, Umuahia, when he received in audience the members of the senate committee on Works led by the chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya.
The Governor also stated that the poor road network in the South South and South East, especially Abia State, makes it difficult for commerce and business to flourish, noting that a journey from Aba to Ikot Ekpene or Aba to Port Harcourt that would ordinarily take 30 minutes now takes between 3 to 5 hours.
He lamented that most federal roads in the state including the Aba-Ikot Ekpene, the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene, Umuahia-Ohafia- Arochukwu federal roads pose serious threats to lives and properties of road users as well as endanger the security of communities along the routes.
According to the Governor, “good roads and electricity are essential for the five policy pillars of our administration, of which trade and commerce are key, to succeed”.
He advised the engineers handling federal road contracts in the South East to look at the history of the roads to ascertain why they keep failing at some key points.
Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said they were in the state to look at some of the deplorable federal roads as part of their oversight functions.
According to him, “we want to ensure that contractors handling federal roads carry out their functions well as the federal government is serious and committed to providing good roads to Nigerians”.
Sen Gaya commended the Governor for his efforts at moving the state forward as well as the senators from Abia for their unity of purpose in ensuring that the bad roads in the state are given attention.
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