By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Residents of towns and villages along the federal government-owned roads infrastructure in the South East especially along Ihiala-Orlu- Umuduru road in Isiala Mbano Local Government Areas in Imo state want the bad roads fixed before the impending raining season sets in.
Ditches and pothole litter the ever-busy Ihiala-Orlu- Umuduru roads in Anambra and Imo states respectively with its attendant hardships for motorists plying the roads between Ihiala, Orlu and Umuduru via Anara in Isiala Mbano upto Umuahia to Uyo and Calabar.
Prompt News reports that the bad conditions of these trunk A roads may have led the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to approve money for the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for the rehabilitation of the federal roads across Nigeria including the Ihiala-Orlu- Umuduru roads.
But our investigations revealed that ditches and pothole are still present along the Ihiala-Orlu- Umuduru roads especially the gully at Anara hill near Durumugo Filling Station; bad spot at Okohia Primary Health Center and “death trap” at Mbeke Catholic church along Umuduru road.
There are also bad spots between Anara; Nkwo mbaa in Nwangele and Umunna, Orlu LGAs just as gully erosion is threatening some portions of the highways and over-grown grasses have taken over the roads at different locations.
Although Prompt News can confirm that FERMA has awarded the Ihiala-Orlu- Umuduru roads to M/S Jeff & Xris Limited with contract number GM/CV/20-142 for the rehabilitation of the 43+500- km. 47+800 km in Imo state, works are yet to commence on the stretch.
A visit to the bad spots in Imo state showed the contractors dropped gravels and sand at some places but work is yet to kick off. A FERMA contractor has before Christmas put a truck load of gravels in front of Holy Trinity Church Umunnuma along Umuduru road but nothing has been done on the project.
However, residents of towns and villages along the federal roads as well as commuters have called on the federal government to ensure that FERMA and its contractors delivered the roads rehabilitation before the raining season starts in the next two months.
Sir Goddy Ebere Osuji has urged the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola to ask the contractors to return to site to execute the jobs given to them by FERMA before the raining season starts.
“I will like to appeal to the federal government to impress on the contractors to speed up the job to save those of us who leave in the South East geopolitical zones from being cut off by the bad roads whenever the rain starts”, sir Osuji said.