President Buhari commissions Nnewi-Oduma-Uburu road amidst jubilation

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President Buhari commissions Nnewi-Oduma-Uburu road amidst jubilation

It was jubilation galore among residents of Nnewi, Oduma and Uburu communities in Enugu and Ebonyi States, on Thursday as President Muhammadu Buhari officially commissioned the 40.37 kilometres (km) Nnewi-Oduma road linking Enugu and Ebonyi States.

According to a statement signed and issued on Sunday evening by Hakeem Bello, the Special Adviser (SA) to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, this brings to three in the last two weeks the number of roads commissioned across the country in line with the “Season of Project Commissioning”, which the President declared while commissioning the 304-kilometre Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Kontagora-Makera Road, on Thursday, 25 November 2021, following which the 24-kilometre Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch Road (Phases I and II), which was officially opened to traffic on Monday, 29 November 2021.

Performing the commissioning at Ezinike-Oduma village, Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Nnewi-Oduma road and others being commissioned are a testament to his administration’s commitment to improving road transport infrastructure, ease of doing business and job creation thereby lifting people out of poverty.

Other elements of change in the roads being commissioned by the administration, Buhari said, included the restoration of the road furniture, such as the lane markings and Route Assurance signs, which he observed, “had all but disappeared on our highways”, adding, “but our commitment to change has restored them, with the markings helping drivers to achieve better lane management and control of their vehicles; while the Route Assurance signs provide information about how much further or longer the drivers and commuters have to travel and the distance to the next village, town or state”.

Buhari, who reiterated his warning to road users to refrain from misusing them so that they would live out their lifespan, said the roads had been built to the highest quality of design and workmanship.

He commended Nigerians who have contributed and are still contributing, in one form or the other, to the construction of the roads saying the roads also represent a story of the capacity of patriotic Nigerians who were employed directly to build the road and the scores of suppliers employed indirectly who are responsible for providing the machines utilised in the construction.

“These are not only nation builders to whom we offer our salutations, they are the heart of the Nigerian economy, the micro, small and medium enterprises that drive our economic growth”, he said.

On his part, the Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Director Highways, South East Zone, Engineer Bola Aganaba, noted that the commissioning of Nnewi-Oduma-Uburu road represented another example of what the country would experience in more days and weeks to come list,ed the hand-overs that will follow to include the 142.2×2 (Dual) kilometres between Shuwarin and Azare connecting Jigawa and Bauchi States and Section III of the 106.3×2 kilometres between Azare and Potiskum connecting Bauchi and Yobe States.

Paying glowing tribute to investors in the first and second SUKUK, the Minister, who noted that the fund has contributed immensely to the completion of many roads and currently contributing to the progress of work on 44 roads across Nigeria, said the impact had seen to the funding to completion, major road projects such as the Azare – Potiskum, Shuwarin – Potiskum and Sokoto-Tambuwal- Kontagora Roads, among others.

He thanked the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Ministry of Finance, the 8th and 9th National Assembly members “especially the Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Works and all stakeholders for their support as well as the Debt Management Office (DMO) for their role in previous SUKUKs, which according to him, had been most innovative and impactful nationwide, and for the ones in the pipeline.

In his remarks, the Enugu State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Works in the State, Engineer Greg Nnaji expressed appreciation to both the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Works and Housing for the synergy which saw to the completion of the project, which according to him began in 2013.

Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers and members of the beneficiary communities, the Chairman of Oduma Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Daniel Njoku, Diji 1 of Ezinesi Oduma, expressed appreciation to the Buhari-led government for facilitating the completion of the road which, according to him, was but abandoned until the coming of the present administration.

“Every Oduma indigene will recall that in the past we travelled by Okada to Nnewi with spare clothing as a result of the bad road”, he said. Adding that the people also found it difficult to transport their agricultural produce to neighbouring markets, a situation which, according to him, had since changed with the completion of the road.

President Buhari commissions Nnewi-Oduma-Uburu road amidst jubilation

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