Ebonyi State governor, Engr. David Umahi, Thursday, flagged off the Nwezenyi-Nwofe section of the Abakaliki ring road project.
The official flag-off ceremony took place at Nwezenyi junction, Igbeagu-Izzi and Ogbala in Ebonyi Council Areas respectively.
Addressing stakeholders of the beneficiary communities, the state Governor who was represented at the event by Commissioner for Works, Hon Ogbonnia Obasi, charged the people to provide adequate security for the workers at the sites.
He noted that symbiotic relationship was necessary as both contractors and community leaders should build bridge of understanding for speedy job delivery.
According to him, “We are here this morning to perform one of the most important functions of the construction of Abakaliki Ring Road which is the signing over the project site to the contractors”.
“Therefore, flagging of the Nwezenyi-Nwofe section will be handled by Pattern and Reinforce Global Joints Venture, while the second section will be handled by CCEC Nig. Ltd respectively and it means that the construction of the road has already commenced”.
“As we have handed the site over to the contractors today, I wish to remind you people of the words of His Excellency; that we are equally handing over both workers and contractors in the hands of the stakeholders where this project is taking place”.
“His Excellency has directed that stakeholders including all the council Chairmen and traditional rulers should provide them with your local security to take care of them while the project lasts in order for them not to suffer any hitches.
“Also, you should give them access to good borrow pit so that they get quality materials that they will use to do this project, even as he has asked contractors to take care of your people especially those who will be securing their site and I know that they’re going to employ so many people within this area so that they will finish the job within the stipulated eighteen months,” he stated.
Corroborating Hon Obasi, the state Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Hon (Barr) Chioma Nweze while giving highlight of the project hinted that the ring road project would be concrete based.
“Today is very significant because when you sign a road contract, the date of handover is the day that it’s deemed that you have handed over the site to the contractors and they will set up their equipments and begin their work.
“His Excellency has renegotiated with the contractors that the road should be completed within eighteen months while still in office, so that he will commission it and wherever there’s shoot out in the budget will know how the state may come in for it to be completed at the appropriate time.
“Just like you have heard the people saying that the road was last constructed since 1976-83 during Chief Jim Nwbodo’s time, the yearning of the people is the Governor’s concern.
“So, the people should expect a concrete road in the eight local government areas”
In their remarks, the executive Chairman, Izzi Local Government Area, Hon. Paul James Nwogha, Ebonyi Local government, Hon Chinyere Nwogbaga, described the project as a good development.
The council chairmen who lauded the state Governor for the feat said the project would go a long way to promote the economy of various communities and the state at large and assured of providing necessary assistance to the contractors.
They noted that the road when completed would serve as a relief to the rural people who depend on the road to take their farm produce to their markets.
Meanwhile, Traditional Ruler, Igbeagu autonomous community HRH Eze Michael Ogbonnaya Ukwa and his Agbaja counterpart, Eze Stephen described the road project as a welcome development.
Eze Ukwa who prayed at the site thank God and the state Governor, Engr David Umahi for remembering the people after over fourty years of abandoned ring road and assured the contractors of adequate security and their cooperation.
He equally prayed that the busy Nwezenyi junction would also attract a flyover to cur accident that has cost alot of lives.
In his goodwill message, the Managing Director, Pattern and Reinforce Global Joint Venture, Emile Wadih(Ogbajiri Igwe 1) appreciated Umahi led government and pledged to ensure the project is delivered before the expiration period, and called stakeholders of the area for their maximum support.
The event was witnessed by the Commissioner for Works, Hon Ogbonnia Obasi, Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Hon. Chioma Nweze and his counterpart in Agriculture and Natural Resource, Chief Ogodo Ali Nome, Grant and Donor Agency, Hon. Richard Nnabu, SA Ring Road, Engr Felix Ottah, former Head of Service, Chamberlain Nwele among others.