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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Anambra Works Commissioner Gives Updates on Soludo’s Infrastructural Development, Says Govt Unflinching

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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Engr. Ifeanyi Okoma, has said that the administration of Governor Chukwuma Soludo is laying a robust foundation for a new and more prosperous Anambra State through his unprecedented multi-sectoral development projects.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with this reporter, Izunna Okafor, in Awka, Commissioner Okoma, who said the Governor came prepared, also extolled the transformative impact of his developmental projects on the state’s infrastructure, adding that time was gone when Ndị Anambra did not have a homeland.

According to him, Governor Soludo, since assuming office, has effectively turned Anambra State into a vast construction site, adding that as of the second-year anniversary of his administration, the state had already seen the construction of 247 kilometers of new roads.

This number, he said, increased to 266 kilometers just barely two weeks late and is currently nearing 300 kilometers, excluding various interventions and the zero potholes and other road maintenance efforts by the Anambra Road Maintenance Agency (ARMA). This feat, according to the Commissioner, is not only remarkable but also represents a world record in road construction within such a short span.

Okoma further reiterated that the quantified lengths are new constructions and do not also include the extensive interventions at various erosion sites in different parts of the State.

“We are not mentioning the intervention at Ebenator erosion gully and the fixing of the portion where road was cut off along the Ebenator—Ezinifite Road. This can’t be quantified by the length. We didn’t also count the intervention at the erosion gully at Ekwueme Square, the erosion gully at Ozubulu, the one at Oba (by Rojenny), and others. We never included all these in the quantified kilometers of road I gave you. Even the flood control at Umuokpu, we never included all these and many others,” he said.

Continuing, the Commissioner said the roads constructed under Soludo’s administration are built to the highest quality standards and come with a minimum guarantee of twenty years. This approach, he said, attests to the Governor’s commitment to not only addressing current needs of the people, but also laying a solid foundation for future generations and Ndị Anambra yet unborn.

He highlighted some of the infrastructural projects of the Governor to include the Okpunoeze-Nnewi Hotel Road, Ufuma-Awa-Ndiukwuenu-Amansea Road, Ezira-Umuomaku-Enugwu Umuonyia Road, Ikenga-Igboukwu Road, Ekwulobia Flyover and Bus Terminal, Ajali-Akpo-Nawfija-Ufuma-Ogbunka Road, Atani–Ozubulu Road, and the dualization of the UNIZIK Junction-Okpuno-Isuaniocha-Urum Road, among others scattered in different parts of the State.

According to him, one of the most transformative projects of the Soludo Administration is the 10.9km Mmiata-Anam-Nzam Road in Anambra West Local Government Area, as the area was previously inaccessible by road, but now enjoys connectivity, which has also facilitated the return of traders from neighboring states like Kogi, Delta, and Enugu who had previously stopped patronizing the farmers in Anambra West L.G.A. This project, he added, is expected to revitalize the local economy, enabling farmers in Anam to transport their produce efficiently, as the time is past when the area was cut off from the rest of Anambra state.

Giving an update on the Ekwulobia Flyover and the significance of the project, Commissioner Okoma noted that the project is progressing rapidly.

According to him, the strategically sited flyover, among other benefits, also aims to address the long-standing traffic congestion in the area, especially during festive seasons, with purpose of making travel within the state more efficient.

“If you have lived around Ekwulobia or you’re coming into Ekwulobia from Onitsha, or from Awka or through Nanka, one of the major things you’ll find out, especially during the festive season, is that people stay between six hours to eight hours in traffic within that area alone.

“And one of the implications of such is that, if you’re coming home from anywhere, and you’re going that area, after spending eight hours in traffic, you and your family would never want to come back again next time. And you would even be reluctant to go that side again next time. So it makes it difficult for people to move around and even keeps people away from Anambra during festivities. But now, Soludo has swung into action to change the narrative,” he said.

He further revealed that the flyover, which is the first of its kind in the Southeast, is set to be completed within the record time of September/October this year (2024).

While noting that Anambra Vision 2070 identifies transportation as one of the critical economic enablers, the Commissioner re-emphasized that time was gone when people couldn’t come home due to poor transportation infrastructure, as the problem has now been solved by the Solution Government.

“To further enhance this connectivity, and to ensure that this foundation is being laid on a solid ground, the Executive Council, headed by the Governor, resolved to dualize the road leading to the area, from Amawbia through to Uga, which is the second phase of the flyover project, because the flyover came with one kilometer on each side,” he added.

According to him, despite the road being a federal road, the state still government intervened in it, after obtaining necessary approvals, and funding the project without expectation of reimbursement. This, he said, is with the understanding that such intervention and the project itself will mark a significant milestone in the state’s infrastructural development and generally benefit the mass of the people. He also revealed that the project, which is already in motion, is expected to be completed within the record time of one year.

On the Ebenator erosion gully in Nnewi South Local Government Area where the state government recently did some interventional works, the Works Commissioner said the first phase of the project had been completed, with the second phase will commencing as soon as possible.

Asked when, the Commissioner said “Anytime soon.”

Continuing, Commissioner Okoma said, aside the massive road constructions, the Soludo Administration is equally making significant strides in other areas, including the ongoing construction of the new Anambra Government House project in Awka. He said the facility, spanning 23 hectares and surpassing even the Aso Rock Villa in landmass, symbolizes the state’s ambitious vision.

According to him, the gigantic project, housing the Government House, Governor’s and Deputy Governor’s Lodges and the Judges Quarters (all being constructed at the same time) is designed to harmonize with nature and also serve as standard and model to other states, hence reflecting the true spirit of Anambra. The project, he said, is on track for completion before the end of 2024.

Going further, he said the Solution Fun City being constructed in Awka is another noteworthy project, expected to be operational by Christmas 2024. He additionally explained that the developmental project will provide recreational facilities for residents and visitors, enhancing the quality of life and tourism in the state.

Commissioner Okoma also used the medium to re-address and reiterate his refutation of the video that recently went viral on the social media alleging that flood washed away a newly-constructed and newly-commissioned road in Onitsha. While explaining that the Governor had only commissioned the Port Harcourt Road and Niger Street Road in the said area of Onitsha as at that time (and which are still intact), he clarified that the road in question — Moore Street-Iweka Road — had not even been completed, let alone being commissioned as at the time of the video, or being washed away by flood.

The Commissioner, therefore, described the video as unfounded misinformation and part of the failed attempts by the enemies to discredit the good works of the Governor and undermine the huge achievements of his administration.

He, however, stressed that the Soludo Administration stands firm and remains undistracted and unwavering in delivering the democratic dividends to the good people of the State.

“And, with these achievements, every sincere eye can see it that the Governor is truly and swiftly riding towards the accomplishment of his broader vision of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland. And that was why I said that Soludo is, indeed, laying the foundation for a new Anambra,” Okoma concluded.

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