The Director of Federal Highways (South-South zone) in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engr. Godwin Eke, has described as impressive the commitment and operational speed displayed by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the contractor handling the  construction works of the Itu-Odukpani-Calabar road.

Engr. Godwin Eke who made the observation at Nkim Itam at the Akwa Ibom end of the road when he led the media on an inspection tour of the ongoing construction works at the project site recently said: “I am very impressed with the contractor’s work. Though there were lots of issues of compensation and relocation on the right of way, Julius Berger’s speed of work and its total commitment to project delivery is clearly reflected in the high level construction activities that you (the media) and our team can see before us today. We are impressed.”

Engr. Godwin Eke said the Calabar – Odukpani – ltu – lkot Ekpene road is a major artery (Trunk A) Federal road linking towns  out of  the  Cross  River  State capital through  Ugep-Ogoja-Kastina  Ala  to  North  East and  North  Central Geo-political zones  and also connects  Akwa  lbom State  towns  onwards to South East and other regions.

Speaking on the objectives the Federal government seeks to achieve in upgrading and expanding the Itu-Odukpani-Calabar road, Eke said the dualization of the road is strategically planned by government to resolve the traffic issues of the important road corridor. This, he said, shall include the reduction of both travel time to the barest minimum and the number of accidents on the road. The project is also intended to give the communities better access to greater economic activities. Engr. Eke also used the opportunity of the media tour of the project to highlight and commend the good and healthy collaboration between the Federal government and the Akwa Ibom state government, especially on the resolution of issues of the right of way for the project.

Speaking in the same satisfactory tone, the Federal Controller of Works in Akwa Ibom State, Engr.Nkereuwem Ukpong said Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the contractor handling the project is working and eager to work. The right of way was not initially free. The houses enumeration consultant had to do its job and then pay compensation for the houses on the right of way before the demolition of the structures in order to allow Julius Berger free space to work. As at now, the compensation for the stretch of 4.3kms has been paid. The relocation of the electricity poles is now being carried out to allow the contractor free access to the site. Asked on his impression of the contractor’s pace of work, the controller said “the contractor’s pace of work is excellent and on schedule”. 

Also speaking on the relationship between Julius Berger and the communities along the project route,the controller said, it has been very cordial and Julius Berger has provided and continues to provide employment for members of the communities. Contractually, the controller said “all things being equal, the project has a delivery date of November 2020.”

The Julius Berger Project Coordinator in Uyo, Mrs Ndifreke Ukochio, who led the company’s team to receive Engr. Eke and the media at the site, promised that the project will be successfully delivered in character with the consistent Julius Berger work tradition of always meeting obligations to clients.