OPINION: NGWA ROAD WILL BE FIXED BUT ..
By: John Okiyi Kalu
Ngwa Road, Aba, is socio-economically important to the development agenda of the Governor Ikpeazu-led Abia State Government. It leads to Ngwa Road market (ahia ohuru) and links that market to another important market in Aba: cemetery market. It also connects to Port Harcourt Road, which is not only an important entry point to Aba but also hosts the biggest equipment fabrication hub in Nigeria.
Naturally, we prioritized reconstruction of Ngwa Road when we came on board, along with adjoining roads like Ohanku and Obohia roads. But after Governor Ikpeazu awarded federal government owned Port Harcourt Road, Aba, to Setraco-Hartland Construction Company, the designers of the road advised that with the new drains (gutters) earmarked for PH Road, there is the need to carry storm water through Ngwa Road to Aba waterside which is our natural storm water collection point in Aba.
It is important to note that for the first time in known history, only the Ikpeazu administration has been able to complete the construction of gutters from Asa Nnentu to No 1 PH Road Aba which terminates at Ngwa Road junction. The implication is that this is the first time meticulous effort is being made to fix Port Harcourt Road, Aba, in a manner that will allow the road to last for many years.
On the basis of the advice received from the designers of the emerging PH Road, we stepped down reconstruction of Ngwa Road to allow the completion of the proposed underground drainage through Ngwa Road. Work will soon start along Ngwa Road to establish the drains as the drainage works for PH Road is now done and dusted. As soon as we complete the drainage work along Ngwa Road, we will commence full reconstruction of Ngwa, Ohanku and Obohia roads.
While we perfectly understand the challenges our people experience along Ngwa Road, it is important that we avoid acting in a hasty manner that wastes public funds by constructing and demolishing the same road within the pendency of same administration. We are also determined to avoid the temptation of delivering road infrastructure that will not serve our people for more than one rainy season, as was the case in the past.
Only a government that cares about quality will deploy rigid pavement (cement) technology to reconstruct roads at low lying Aba as well as ensure that no road is reconstructed without proper storm water management plan. Indeed, under the watch of Governor Ikpeazu, we have never done any road at Aba without first establishing two gutters that terminate at a major drain carrying storm water to Aba waterside. We also partially dredged waterside, early in the administration, to ensure that it flows freely and receives more storm water.
Those actions taken early in the administration saved Aba from the forecast of heavy rains of 2019 that was otherwise expected to sink the city through massive flooding the way it did several others outside Abia State. We can beat our chest and state that after the heaviest of rains in Aba, it only takes minutes for flood water to find its way to waterside. No part of Aba has been submerged as predicted.
We certainly have not fixed all the roads requiring attention at Aba and Abia State, but no resident of Aba will agree that MCC, SAMEK, Chima Nwafor, Kamalu, Umuatako, Ehere, Omni, Ukaegbu, Umuola, Ovom, East Street, Ochefu, Mosque, Umule, Umuode, Adaelu, etc were not fixed by the Ikpeazu administration. Just like the current poor state of Ngwa road, all those roads and more were in bad conditions but today wearing new looks because of the work done by Governor Ikpeazu.
While Faulks Road is still an ongoing road project, it is also important to note that for the first time in more than 15 years, our people are now able to access the road to Ariaria from Brass or Express junction. Setraco will soon return to site to complete and handover Faulks Road to us. Osusu Road that was literally closed to vehicular traffic before the coming of Governor Ikpeazu is receiving critical attention such that today we are counting days before the road is fully reconstructed and handed over to the people of Abia State.
Let’s keep the faith and patiently wait while Governor Ikpeazu continues to mobilize resources to do much more. Even with the best of intentions, we could not possibly have reconstructed all the over 480 roads in Aba in 4 years. Yet, we understand and subscribe to the need to reconstruct Ngwa Road as soon as possible. We will deliver a new and better Ngwa Road to our people.
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