Ebonyi state government Thursday, signed $150mililon contract for the construction of the first phase of Abakaliki ring road.
The ring road passes through eight local government areas of Ebonyi state, while the construction was awarded to four construction companies.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, while signing the contract in Abakaliki, said the fund for the road contract was accessed through a loan and commended President Mohammadu Buhari for giving the state a level playing ground to access the loan.
He urged the contractors to move to the site and ensure that the job is delivered on time.
He said: “It has been a very long journey, a very tedious one. First was the issue of technical qualification and I can’t state exactly the number but I think there were over 20 contractors that bidded.
“I must commend Mr. President for this project, the project is 199kms of Abakaliki ring road passing through eight local governments. Out of this, we are expected to put 25 percent equity which we have executed about 60kms of this road, leaving about 150kms.
“Mr. President, we are grateful to you from the process of syndicating for this loan, going to the National Assembly, coming back to the federal executive council, getting approval, going back to the federal executive council for signing and so, it been a very tedious one spanning over six years and here we are today to the glory of God signing this contract.
“Let me make it very clear that this $150million loan is the first loan that we are getting from outside Nigeria and this loan is a loan that is gotten on our behalf by the federal government. So the contract is signed with the development banks, with the federal government and we witnessed and later we signed with the federal government that will back the loan.
“This project is a reality. Let me say that this project was started by the former Governor of old Anambra state of which part of Ebonyi state was part of it and he did the construction of the road and Elechi administration did a lot of rehabilitation of the road but today nobody can pass the road not by foot, not by Keke, not okada. God has shown us mercy that in our tenure, this will be a reality.
“With what we have done in the state in terms of the road network, I with ill say that this about 150kms is going to be icing on the cake for the people of Ebonyi state, we will never remain the same at the completion after the process that we went through, somebody even took us to court and we put every effort Incidentally the person who took us to court, his community is benefiting. So, it’s been God’s hand.”