By Christian ABURIME
“Anambra will become a massive construction site after the rainy season”. These were the words of the Governor of the State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo regarding infrastructural developments in the state, particularly roads.
In keeping with this commitment, the Governor flagged-off construction of nine roads in Okpoko and the Mmiata-Anam-Nzam road which has two bridges. This is in tandem with his administration’s promise of building over two hundred and twenty (220) kilometer of roads across the state, before the end of this year.
And it is also part of what Governor Soludo promised in his manifesto- to build more roads as well as modernize and maintain existing ones with flyovers, bridges, pedestrians walk-ways. This will effectively connect more communities to the urban setting as well as boost the states’ economic fortunes
In the State’s 2022 revised budget, fifty four (54) billion naira, accounting for fifty (50) percent of the budget size, was dedicated for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure for road constructions and maintenance in keeping with the present administration’s Urban regeneration agenda.
The nine roads are; Obodo-Owerri Rd 5.77km, Oguagu- Ik Onuorah-Anumudu-Mgbuka- Amazu-Owerri Rd -2.97km, Edeh Road-School rd-Awalite – Ojoto-Owerri rd 1.48km, School rd- umuobom Street-Ojoto Street Junction -0.58km and Umuobom st (Ojoto st Junction-Adazi ani st- Owerri Rd- 0.77km.
Others are Umenweke st (Obodoukwu Junction)-Umeojiakor st ( School Rd Junction)-0.58km, (Ojoto Junction)-Anumudu (Mgbuka Amazu Junction)0.99km, Uzii st- Mission st (Awaited Junction) 0.54km and Anumudu street (ik Onuorah Junction )- Gmi Rd- 0.38km.
Performing the flag-off at Okpoko, Governor Soludo said that the visit was his fourth time in Okpoko since the inception of his administration.
“What we have come for today, is the promise we made to you. Let me say this very important thing. When I ran for governorship, there were three local governments I transversed, and the images I saw kept haunting me.”
“These local governments are; Ogbaru, Anambra West and Awka North. I couldn’t believe that there were still places like this in Anambra. I made up my mind that these Council Areas would feel the impact of government. The rainy season is almost over.
Every local government would feel our impact.” Governor Soludo said
“We must give life to the population in Okpoko, because they are also part of Anambra. We are conducting a study on how to provide water in Okpoko. Okpoko will rise. We will move together.” Governor Soludo reassured
“We are looking for a space for General Hospital. We are also looking for a recreational ground within Okpoko. Life will come here.” Soludo further said
The Governor also reassured the people of the durability of the roads “The roads that we are building, the design is done in such a way that it will be strong as we have made the contractor to sign an undertaking that the roads will be durable for at least 20 years.
The Governor revealed that about 3 kilometers of the Okpoko road will have a pedestrian walkway, while also tasking Okpoko people to keep their surroundings clean at all times
“We will start a different campaign of cleaning the drainage systems. Set up a community watch by yourselves, to set an example for others to emulate.” The Governor concluded.
The 11 kilometer Mmiata Anam road which has culverts and one bridge, which is 70 meters into the road spanning 120 meters.
When completed, the road will be highly beneficial to the Community and environs which is usually flood-prone.
The road will also boost agro-economy of the area in particular and Anambra State in general, as the people are well known for rice production, fish, yam, vegetables, potatoes, among others.
Also, when completed, the people will no longer ferry their products to Edo and Delta
The Governor added that Phase 2 of the project will be the remaining 1.7 kilometers to the local government headquarter, while the Phase 3 will be to embark on the Onono road if Kogi state agrees to a partnership. When all these phases are completed, traveling to Abuja will be roughly three hours.
He stressed that if achieved, Anambra West will become the gateway from Anambra to the North, noting that fifty percent advance payment will be paid to the contractor before the project commences.
The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ifeanyi Okoma revealed that the project is the first road flag-off in Anambra by the Governor, revealing that the present administration will construct 14, 053 kilometer of roads in Okpoko.
According to the Commissioner for Works, Engr. Ifeanyi Okoma,
“Anambra was created 31 years ago amidst jubilation, since then no road has gone into Nzam. It gives serious concern to the Governor. By January, the road would have been completed”.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Tony Collins Nwabunwanne said that the present administration honours promises, pointing out that Governor Soludo being an economist, he is someone who plans all he does with great success rate
“As a major food basket of the State, we will use this opportunity to produce more food and serve Ndi Anambra”, added the Commissioner.
For the Member representing Anambra East and West at the Federal House of Representatives, Chief Chinedu Obidiegwu who recalled Governor Soludo as saying that Ogbaru, Anambra West and Awka North are the most marginalized local government areas in the state, prayed God to make him succeed.
The site’s certificates were formally handed over to the contractor at the event by Governor Soludo himself, to signify the importance of the project to the State