Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State on Monday made good his promise to provide quality roads for the people, flagging off the reconstruction of 37 kilometre Owerri to Orlu dual carriage way and 55 kilometre Owerri to Okigwe single carriage way respectively.
The reconstruction work by a reputable foreign Company, Craneburg Construction Engineering, will be going on at the same time on both corridors.
Addressing a excited mammoth crowd at the flag-off posts at Banana junction for Orlu and Okatankwu in Ikeduru for Okigwe road, the Governor described the day as a special one as the signature projects by his shared Prosperity Government will shore up the economy of the State.
He said when the roads are made motorable and people travel on them without stress, they will definitely impact on the overall economy of Imo State.
The Governor observed that when he assumed office in January 2020 almost all the roads in Imo State were totally broken down. “There were non to travel on, economic activities were shut down, the system was disorganized and disoriented, worse still attempt by previous Governments to repair them made the situation worst, hence it became necessary that this administration must recover, reconstruct and rehabilitate Imo State in other to reduce the infrastructural deficit.”
He said during the rainy season his administration could embark upon the reconstruction of some internal roads in Owerri Metropolis and maintenance of some others at the out sketches of the Municipality and that now that the rains are over the actual construction has started.
In a bid to get value for money and pass through competitive bidding process as well as to ensure the construction company does not violate the Procurement Act, they were allowed to give the most responsive bid from Craneburg whose leadership underwent proficiency test to establish their strength as a Construction giant.
The governor said the contractors are already handling signature projects in parts of the country like Rivers State, Ogun State, Anambra State and even the Federal Capital Territory.
The Governor said the two roads – Owerri to Orlu and Owerri to Okigwe – have been awarded at the cost of N55 billion and by the provisions of the Procurement Act, Government has paid 15 percent of this amount as mobilization to the Company.
He reminded Imolites again that he has come to work and having come from Imo himself, he has not come to witch-hunt anybody. He assured that any step taken by his government must be for the interest of the people of Imo State even as he promised that in the next two years Imo State will not be the same again.
He warned that the road constructions should not be politicised on party lines of either APC, PDP, APGA or any other political party, saying, “they are for Imo people and must be done to the benefit of all and sundry.”
He requested for the cooperation of Imolites, especially those living along the roads under reconstruction so that the project will be achieved on record time of 18 months without unnecessary encumbrances as a result of human interferences, warning that Government will not look at anybody trying to draw the progress of the project behind with kid’s glove.
He assured that Government will fund the project 100 per cent without noting that his government has not borrowed any kobo from the bank so far. According to Governor Uzodimma his government has come to bring prosperity to Imo people and will want everybody to share in that prosperity by cooperating with Government.
Earlier, Commissioner for Works, Barr. Raph Nwosu told the audience that the choice of the contractor for the projects was well thought out and that they will deliver world standard roads to Imo State.
The flag off at both Orlu and Okigwe were graced by prominent personalities from the areas and their friends from Owerri zone, including traditional rulers, lawmakers, political appointees and top members of the All Progressive Congress. Those of them who spoke did not hide their joy over the projects and were full commendations to the governor.
Deputy Governor Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku thanked the Governor for a promise kept and promised that his people in particular and Imo State in general will cooperate to ensure that the project is achieved.
The Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem expressed joy that the reconstruction of Owerri-Okigwe road that takes him to his place which has been in a very bad state for a long time is taking place in his time and expressed appreciation to Governor Uzodimma for the gesture.