Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has called on the Federal Government to urgently resume work on abandoned federal roads and other projects in the Niger Delta states. Ikpeazu made the call on Thursday when the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Uguru Usani, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Umuahia. He regretted that many federal roads in Abia and other Niger Delta states were in a state of disrepair.
He said that many of the roads, which were awarded for rehabilitation and re-construction, had been abandoned. He cited the Obehie-Akwa-Ibom Road and Aba -Azumini Road in the state, which were allegedly started but abandoned midway, to buttress his point. The governor appealed to the Federal Government to order the contractors back to site and ensure the completion of the roads. He underscored the need for the construction of interconnecting roads to link up the nine Niger Delta states. He said that linking up the states in the region through a good road network would facilitate rapid socio-economic development of the region.
Ikpeazu also made a case for the inclusion of Abia in the Federal Government’s amnesty programme. “Abia is perhaps the only state in the Niger Delta region without any record of youth restiveness, yet the state has not been rewarded for its peaceful disposition. “We therefore use this opportunity once again to demand that Abia be included in the Federal Government’s amnesty programme for Niger Delta states,” he said. Earlier in his speech, the minister said that he was in the state to attend the ongoing Third National Council Meeting on Niger Delta region. He said that the meeting, which would deliberate on pertinent issues affecting the region, would provide a road map for greater collaboration among the states in the region.
He commended the Abia government for accepting to host the conference. The minister also commended the governor for his unrelenting made-in-Aba campaign and initiating measures aimed at making Aba Africa’s biggest industrial hub. “It is gratifying to say that the industrial programme of your administration is in line with Federal Government’s economic reform agenda,’’ the minister said.