Dilapidated Part of Calabar – Itu – Aba Road
Good news has finally come for the suffering people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, both states which are part of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. For more than 30 years the people of these two states have been bearing the pains and agony of traveling through the Calabar- Itu – Aba Road. They have no other choice as this is the only road linking the three states of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and Abia States.
The road constructed over thirty years ago had gone through wear, tear and abuse so much so that portions of it have become death traps. Potholes are strewn in most areas of the road, grasses and weeds have seized both sides of it while adjoining rivers overflow the road with impunity because the once raised coal tar surface has eroded and it is now below sea level.
Horrible portion of Calabar – Itu – Aba Road
The people of these two states notably Akwa Ibom and Cross River are the worst affected as they are the ones who pass through this road daily to Aba and Port Harcourt. They had over the years cried out to various governments to come to their aid and fix the road. The fact that this road had not been repaired ever since meant their plight was ignored by successive governments.
The present Government of Muhammadu Buhari that is flaunting his credential as a listening government has taken up the gauntlet. They have decided to fix this road and the states affected are celebrating.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday, announced the approval of N54 billion by the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria FEC for the reconstruction of the notorious Calabar – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Aba road. According to the Minister of Power and Works the road contract is to be handled by Julius Berger.
Capsize Lorry a Common Occurrence in Calabar – Itu – Aba Road
According to Fashola “We expect all of the problems that have been associated with that road which was constructed for well over 40 years to be over. The road has outgrown its design life and also its design capacity; those problems will now be frontally responded to by the award of this contract.
“We will do the best to quickly mobilise the contractor to site with the onset of the rainy season and am sure that by this time next year, it will be a better journey time experience in that part of the country. He stated.
The Power and Works Minister further added that the award of the road contract was consistent with the vision of the current government under President Muhammadu Buhari to improve the growth and the performance of the economy by reducing journey time, the cost of doing business and the ease of transport.
He also alluded to the deliberate effort of the current government to create jobs and reduce employment and cited road construction as one of the major labour related projects that will offer jobs to the people. The Minister also added the enormous effect of the reconstructed road to include boosting the socio-economic activities and improving the performance of the economy.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the road contract to Julius Berger has elicited excitement and positive reactions from the citizens of the two states especially, transporters and commuters alike. Most of those interviewed over the road contract expressed joy and happiness and were more joyful because the contract is awarded to Julius Berger a construction company they believe is reputable.
The Calabar – Itu- Aba road was perhaps one of the worst roads existing in the Niger Delta region and by an extension Nigeria until remedial work was done last year through the intervention of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC. Apart from the constant accidents that sometimes result in loss of lives due to the bad road, commuters and drivers were used to spending many days on the road because of fallen trucks across both lanes of the road resulting in heavy traffic jams that stretch for miles on the road.
The award of this road contract is very timely, a game changer and an action that will endear the present government of Muhammadu Buhari to the heart of the citizens of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.