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South-East: Reps blast Buhari govt

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The House of Representatives Committee on Works has attributed the delay in execution of federal roads in the South East to poor funding.

Chairman, House Committee on Works, Toby Okechukwu, spoke in Enugu on Thursday after a two-day inspection of Federal Road projects in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.

Okechukwu, who described the roads as “inhuman and against economic development”, blamed the Federal Ministries of Finance and Works for the delay to release funds for the projects.

NAN quoted him as saying that the legislature had done its part to appropriate funds for the road projects and wondered why funds had not been released to complete the projects.

According to him, the House, as a parliament for the people, has approved Euro bond of 2.8billion and wondered why such should not be deployed in funding capital projects like roads.

“The minimum we required is full funding of these road projects because that is why the money is borrowed in the first instance,’’ he said.

The lawmaker decried the deplorable condition of Enugu-Onitsha expressway, 9th Mile-Orokam Road, noting that if they were not tackled urgently, they might cause serious mayhem for Nigerians using them.

He, however, appealed for palliatives to make the roads passable during the Yuletide and promised that the committee would do its possible best to work for the activation of the contract fee to enable them complete the job.

“Christmas is coming and when you have bad roads other issues like accidents, wear and tear of vehicles, rise in crime will follow suit.

“It is important that the relevant ministries do the needful on the road. The committee will find out why funding of this project is a problem,’’ he said.

Okechukwu, who was excited with the level of work at the Second Niger Bridge, lauded the Federal Government and the contractor handling the project for the quality of work done so far

The lawmaker urged the construction firm to work assiduously to deliver on time.

“I am happy with the progress we are making on second Niger Bridge, essentially, it is on track.

“It is coming with the level expected of Julius Berger. Actually, this is the fruitful result of the interaction, when we had public hearing,’’ he said.

The chairman urged the ministry to ensure that contracts for all the access roads leading to major carriage ways including Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressways were awarded.

The sites visited during the inspection included; Enugu-Abakaliki Road, Enugu-Port Harcourt Road, Enugu-9th-mile-Oji River Road, 9th-Mile-Orokam Road as well as outstanding section of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

Other sites are Onitsha-Enugu Expressway by Amawbia-Umunya axis; Oji River-Ugwuoba axis and Ugwu Onyeama-Ngwo Expressway.

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