Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, has restated his resolve to restore the economic glory of Aba as the commercial nerve of Abia with the flagging-off of the reconstruction of 3.5-km Osisioma-Ekeakpara Road, on Wednesday.

Governor Otti, who butttressed the significance of rebuilding the road, which stretches from the intersection under the Osisioma flyover into the Osisioma Industrial Layout, stated that his dream is to make Aba the industrial and manufacturing hub of the world.

He said that the reconstruction of the Osisioma-Ekeapkara Road is part of his adminstration’s strategic agenda to create many access roads into and out of Aba, decongest traffic, and increase the windows of economic opportunities for the people.

The Governor said that the collapse of the Osisioma-Ekeakpara Road marked the beginning of Aba’s decline after decades of neglect by past administrations. This, according to him, led to loss of jobs, returns for investors and multinationals as well as the exodus of industrialists and businesses that once thrived along the corridor.

“We have come together in continuation of our consistent efforts to restore the old glory of this city after decades of ruin orchestrated by willful neglect, crass irresponsibility and a pathetic failure to appreciate the full significance of Aba to the economic health of the State, the country and the West African Sub region.

“For decades, Aba was synonymous with trade, commerce and industry; but it was more. This city transformed the economic destinies and fortunes of many individuals and communities.

“For many of us, who saw the magic of this city growing up, the deterioration of the last two decades and a half have been nothing but heart-breaking and this emboldened us to ride in unism to resist the jackals, who profited selfishly from the ruins of this great city.

“We said enough, and refused to back down until we achieved the first leg of victory in what will likely be a marathon race to take back our land, and rebuild it in a way that those coming after us will be proud to continue the trans-generational task of keeping this city alive to it’s age old promise of growing tiny seeds into giant trees,” the Governor affirmed.

According to Governor Otti, the road which would be completed in 12 months, would open up new opportunities for investment and growth in addition to serving many road users including those going to other major cities of Owerri and Onitsha.

The Governor mandated the Commissioner for Works and his team “to be strict in their supervisory responsibility and ensure that nothing short of the highest standards of materials are used at every stage of the reconstruction process”, warning that any form of compromise would be punished severely.

He called on citizens, landlords, and business owners to play their part in the city’s restoration by complying with tax payments and environmental regulations, adding that actions that threaten the free flow of rain water will no longer be tolerated as a task force has been set up to curb illegal dumping of refuse.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Works, Engr. Otumchere Oti, while assuring timely completion of the road project, said that overlaying concrete pavement with a 50mm thick asphaltic concrete wearing course, reinforced concrete drains on both sides of the road, with surface runoff directed through a 2-kilometer-long drainage system as well as street lights to illuminate the entire length of the road, would be adopted during the construction.

He said the Ministry of Works will provide thorough supervision to ensure adherence to specifications and urged the public to care for the road and avoid activities that could undermine government efforts.

In their various remarks, the member representing Osisiomangwa North State Constituency, Mr. Fine Ahuama and the Mayor of Osisioma LGA, Chief Chinemerem Nweke, while thanking Governor Otti for opting to reconstruct the road, noted that the road is of great economic important to the Aba business community as the area houses many industries.

They listed the MCC, Umueze, Umuimo, among other strategic roads that have received a facelift from the present administration, assuring that they will give the contractor all necessary support for the timely completion of the project.

Also speaking, a stakeholder in the area and former ICAN President, Sir Chidi Ajaegbu said that the people of Osisioma and the entire Abia people are proud of the administration of Governor Otti as he has under one year turned Abia into a huge construction site, noting that the reconstruction of Osisioma-Ekeakpara Road which has been deplorable for more than 25 years will resurrect dead companies in the area.

The Contractor handling the project, Mr. Uzo Okeke, who appreciated Governor Otti for revalidating the roads contract with the company, promised to deliver the project in a record time and in line with the job specifications.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
Abia State
Government House, Umuahia
May 8, 2024.

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