The Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has called on the Federal Government to terminate the Ikom-Obudu road contract following the obvious inability of the contractor to execute the job.
Imoke, who made the call while receiving Senator Mohammed Sanusi Dagash Minister of Works in Calabar, South-South, Nigeria, said the contractor handling the rehabilitation work on that road has spent about six years with nothing to show as evidence of performance, adding that the firm is not competent to handle the project as it has been there since 2004 and asked that the contract be terminated and re-awarded to a competent company.
The governor reasoned that the call for the termination was based on the fact that roads play a vital role in the socio-economic activities of the people especially in a state like Cross River which is noted for its agricultural potential.
The governor described the Enugu-Abalkiliki â€“ Ikom (Nigeria) â€“ Mamfe (Cameroon) road as a realization of dreams of many years and thanked President Goodluck Johnathan for making it happen, hoping that with the calibre of persons at the helm of affairs in the Federal Ministry of Works it will be completed on schedule.
He commended the Federal Government for awarding a number of road contracts in the state which include Calabar â€“ Itu Road, Calabar Ugep â€“ Ikom Katsina Ala Road, Ikom-Obudu Road, Obudu Junction â€“ Ranch Road, and Ugep â€“ Itigidi â€“ Abomege Road, which according to him, is unprecedented, explaining that these are projects which the people had aspired for because they have significant impact on them.
Imoke remarked that though road development is in Seven-Point Agenda of the state, a partnership with Federal Government is critical for both to deliver dividend of good governance and called for a review of some of the conditions attached to the roads especially Calabar-Ugep â€“ Ikom â€“ Katsina road which is based on the challenges on the scope of funding.
On Calabar â€“ Itu Road, the governor disclosed that the road is fast becoming busy and congested due to heavy traffic which had prompted the state to dualize it from Calabar â€“ to Tinapa Junction and appealed that the Federal Government should continue from there to Odukpani Junction due to rising incidence of accident on that axis of the road, adding that some of the projects handled by Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) do not befit the Federal Ministry of Works.
Senator Sanusi Dagash Minister of Works,who described his visit as prelude to the flagging off of the Trans-African road linking Nigeria with Cameroon, said the project will be completed within the designated time because of its importance to both countries, adding that the Federal Government supports it as a dual carriage which will open the country to commerce and its benefits are enormous to Nigerians.
According to Dagash, over 40 cities will grow at the same time due to the road project thereby creating opportunity for other infrastructure to be provided, adding that because of the priority which the Federal Government attaches to the project he visited with representatives of Federal Ministry of Finance, Foreign Affairs and ECOWAS.
On the concession of the Calabar- Itu – Ikot Ekpene â€“ Aba Road, because of the heavy traffic on the axis due to economic potentials of the area, Dagash said he would study the request and see what extent the Federal government could support it while describing Cross River as peaceful, progressive, clean and a showcase to the country and would recommend it as a state any tourist should visit because there is so much to see.
Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi Minister of State for Works in his remarks lauded the State Capital for its quietness and serenity unlike other state capitals, saying what was seen is a reflection of the people because â€œif the head is good, all is good,â€ adding that that he was impressed and congratulated the people for keeping the city clean.
Senate Deputy Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba described the trans-African Road linking Nigeria with Cameroon through Cross River, as a major achievement of the effort of the present administration while Mr. John Odey Minister of Environment said his Ministry will collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure it succeeds.