The deplorable state of roads in Anambra State has worsened, with many motorists complaining of the condition of both internal roads in many cities in the State, including federal highways.
In Awka, the State capital, almost every road is in a very deplorable condition. From roads inside the Government House, to the residential areas behind the Government House, to other parts of the State capital, including Ifite, Okpuno, Mgbakwu, Unizik junction and villages within Awka community, residents are groaning.
This has led to public outcry by some residents of Awka, who have called on the State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to buckle up and begin to show why he was preferred above candidates of other political parties in the November 2021 governorship election.
Mr Ejike Sunday, a driver who plies the Awka – Ifite route said: “The problem of roads in Awka is just getting out of hand. Everyday, what is uppermost in the mind of the State governor is which new tax he should impose on the people, but he does not consider the kind of suffering we go through everyday to make money.
“The only time I drive with happiness while moving from Amawbia to Ifite is when I enter the express from UNIZIK junction and ply it to Aroma. But from Amawbia, I encounter a lot of bad roads, and once I’m at Aroma, it is the worst to drive from there to Ifite. Ifite has the worst roads that anyone can think of, yet we have commissioners quarters there, and many big government officials and professors of UNIZIK live there.”
Another respondent, Mr Joseph Abana, a laundry man said: “My shop is at Nodu, Okpuno, and I also live here. We know that the state of roads in Anambra State cannot be blamed on Soludo, but we are only calling on him to do something. The state of roads around Awka capital territory is very bad. Government needs to look into it.”
A DAILY POST reporter who moved round Awka on Wednesday reports that several roads, including very prominent ones in the State capital territory are in bad shape. Prominent among them are Arthur Eze Avenue, connecting Unizik junction and the popular Eze Awka market, Oby Okoli Street, which connects Unizik junction to Mgbakwu, Ifite road, which connects Aroma to Nnamdi Azikiwe University through the back gate.
Others are roads inside Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, High Tension road, which connects Aroma junction to Amaenyi, Dike street, which connects Zik Avenue to Sammy Sparkle and Udoka housing estate. Several other roads within the State capital are near impassable too.
But the State governor, Soludo seems to appreciate the fact that the indigenes are concerned about the state of roads in the State.
Recently, Governor Soludo declared a state of emergency in the state of roads in the State. During a recent visit to various communities, Soludo flagged-off the construction of roads in the State, and pledged to continue, while describing roads as very important infrastructure.
The State commissioner for information, Mr Paul Nwosu, who spoke to DAILY POST, described the governor’s revolution in roads as one that will not end anytime soon.
The commissioner said the roads that had been awarded include: Ezira-Umuomaku-Enugwu Umuonyia-Achina road, 12.5km long and 8m wide, awarded to Tamad Construction Ltd at the cost of N4,68billion.
“This is in furtherance of making driving around Anambra State pleasurable. The road will be completed in 12 months.
“Construction of Ozubulu-Ihembosi-Ukpor road also got ANSEC’s nod to be awarded and commenced. Measuring 6.05km and 10m wide, the work has been awarded to Wakema Construction Company Ltd at the cost of N3.9billion, and Wakema is expected to finish the job in 8 months,” he said.
He also disclosed that the Anambra executive council also revalidated and awarded Ukpor-Umunuko-Nza Ozubulu road at the cost of N1.2billion to IDC Construction Nig Ltd., adding that a subsisting contract for the Okpunoeze-Nnewi Hotel road, Nnewi was also revalidated and approved by ANSEC at the sum of N1.7billion, which was awarded to Benejaf.
Meanwhile, some people have raised eyebrows about the continuous award of road contracts in the hinterlands, when Awka the State capital has many impassable roads.
“We pray that Soludo will not be like his predecessors in the area of development of Awka. Peter Obi tried when he brought UN Habitat to plan the State, and promised to make Awka what it should be in terms of being a State capital, but he left office without the will power to implement the recommendations of UN Habitat. His successor came, and it is under him that Awka is this dirty. We are hoping that Soludo will be able to do it, but he seems to have decided to concentrate on opening up the hinterlands, which is also good,” a resident said.
Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo is, however, not relenting as he has awarded more road projects in Nnewi. The Governor embarked on an assessment tour of the very bad roads in Nnewi, including Ogbufo, Okpunoeze Uruagu Nnewi, Umudim Road, among others.
Speaking at Okpunoeze Uruagu Nnewi Road, the Governor said that he came personally to inspect the road and feel the pulse of the people by himself.
“I assure you that the contractors will commence work on the road soonest, once the rain subsides. This constructed road will go all the way to Teaching Hospital and Nkwo Nnewi.
“We are very particular about roads that play very vital roles in the lives of the people. We want to ensure that communities are linked together because that is one of the ways to enthrone economic prosperity in the State”. Governor Soludo assured.