The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says funds for reconstruction of Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene Road has been approved under the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Road Tax Credit Scheme.
Fashola made this known in a letter addressed to Rep. Sam Onuigbo (APC-Abia) representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The minister urged the lawmaker to prevail on his constituents to remove all structures and crops within the right of way to allow for free and speedy reconstruction of the road.
He said that the approval was in response to appeals made by the lawmaker, requesting government’s intervention on the deplorable federal road.
Addressing newsmen, Onuigbo who underscored the importance of the road, commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister for the approval of funds to fix the road.
“I held the first meeting with the minister on June 14, 2016 to convey to him the terrible, deplorable state of the road from Umuahia to Ikwuano to Ikot Ekpene which is a federal road.
“And to be fair with the minister, after my presentation which was supported by pictorial evidence, agreed right there that the road had indeed collapsed.
“He approved that FERMA should immediately intervene to do palliative work to allow trucks which hitherto could not pass to pass and any truck that tried to pass got stuck.
“But in the letter that the minister gave to me, he commended me for having the interest of my constituency at heart and promised that I should take the letter as a commitment of the federal government to really fix that road,” he said.
He added: “This is because it is a very important, major economic artery that is used for conveying goods from Calabar port, export processing zone, prospecting an oil serving equipment covering some sections of the Niger Delta.
“So, I want to thank the minister, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, and also the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for being able to focus on infrastructure renewal.’’
Onuigbo said that though the project was awarded in 2019, due to paucity of funds, construction could not go on.