Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has flagged off the proposed expansion of the Ossah-Umuahia Road, which is the major entry point into Umuahia, the state capital, from four to six lanes.
Speaking during the flag off of the road, Otti said the road expansion was intended to check traffic jam during festive period and up grade the status of the capital city.
Recall that a lot of arguments burdening on the road design and settlement of those whose structures were affected by the project were resolved before flag off.
He said that the Craneburg construction company whom the job was given to is a reputable international organization, noting that they will deliver the job on time.
He said, “It has been difficult getting to this stage of the flag off of this road. We had to settle all issues that came right from the conception of this project before we came to flag off.
“The money for the payment of compensation is ready and the owners of the 130 building that were affected have started receiving their monies, while those who have not received their own may be as a result of some bureaucratic hitches will get theirs soon.
“I know the engineers handling the project will want to finish it on time, but before they get to the express tower, we would have concluded agreement to extend the six lanes to Onuimo junction”.
In his speech the Commissioner for Works in the state Engr. Otumchere Oti, commended the governor for his steadfastness for the project to take off.
He disclosed that the road will have six lanes with drains and walk ways on either sides.
In their responses, some traditional rulers from the community, Eze Iheanyichukwu Ezeigbo and Eze Chiabuotu Emelike, commended the governor for the project adding that their subjects are happy that the state government remembered them.
They said,”The road expansion is very laudable, the people of Ossah are happy because we believe that the expansion of the road will attract development and improve the beauty of our community.
“Our people demanded for compensation and the government has started paying some and believe that the governor’s word that all those whose structures will be affected by the road expansion will be compensated.
“But they are also pleading with the government to give those who will need to relocate some time to do so”.
The Governor also re-opened the retrofitted general hospital, Amachara and the Abia State Specialist hospital and diagnostic centre, Umuahia.