Reps urge rehabilitation of highways in state
Following a report on September 27, 2021, by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), placing Imo State on the highest with 124 COVID-19 cases in the country, residents in the local councils of the state are living in fear.x
The same day, Lagos had 72 cases, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 36; the Rivers States -16; Enugu, six and Kano, one.
A total of 255 cases were recorded that day, with grand total of 204,456 cases; 192, 620 discharged and 2,677 deaths.
Many residents, who spoke with The Guardian, expressed apprehension that scores of persons were carrying the deadly virus, calling for stepping up of containment measures.x
A resident in Owerri Municipal, Grace John, said: “With what was released on Monday, Imo State should be careful. It is discouraging.”
MEANWHILE, the House of Representatives has emphasised the need for urgent rehabilitation of Avu-Etekwuru Road, as well as the completion of the abandoned Oguta/Nnebukwu Bridge in Imo State.
It noted that the road, which serves as a major link to Ohaji/Egbema and Owerri-West local councils in the state, is also an access road for multinational oil companies and over 30 communities in the two councils.x
While moving a motion to the effect during plenary, a lawmaker, Uju Kingsley Chima, observed that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of the road and construction of a bridge across Oguta Lake to link Nnebukwu and Egwe/Oguta communities.
According to the lawmakers, the contracts were awarded over 15 years ago with contractors mobilised to the site but no significant progress had been made at the sites, as the contractors are demanding an upward review of the contracts due to the high cost of materials.
The House was worried that the road had become impassable as it has deteriorated and in the process, cutting off the three neighbouring local councils of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Owerri-West from other parts of Imo State.x
It therefore, warned that if the road is not given the urgent attention it deserves, more lives and property would be lost to flooding in Avu and Etekwuru and other communities where the construction of the bridge was abandoned in Oguta.
The House, in adopting the motion, urged the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently rehabilitate the road to ease the free flow of traffic.
It also urged the NDDC to urgently review and redesign the projects to conform to modern engineering designs and costs so that the jobs could resume in earnest.x