WHO IS FRUSTRATING OLD LAGOS/ASABA ROAD PROJECT?

The Old Lagos/Asaba dualization project has been in the news lately owing to what can be described as the lackasidical attitude of those concerned, to its successful rehabilitation. The interest the road project has continued to generate can be linked to its strategic importance to the socio-economic life of the people of Ika nation particularly residents of Boji Boji and Orogodo metropolis.

The road has had a chequered history of neglect and abandonment by successive administrations which have overlooked its strategic importance to the people. While major roads in other towns across Delta State are being given due attention through rehabilitation and some cases dualization, the only major road that runs through the metropolis have practically been allowed to degenerate to its current state, where it is gradually becoming unmotorable to road users particularly motorists, who have severally complained of the toll the poor state of the road was having on their vehicles.

When Hi-Tech Construction Company, the contractor currently having a franchise of the road project came mid last year; a renewed sense of hope was given to the people of Ika nation, who felt that finally a final solution had come their way. The visits to the two revered traditional rulers of Agbor and Owa kingdoms, His Royal Majesties, Dein Keagborekuzi 1st and Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II (JP) by the management team of Hi-Tech Construction Company, led by its Managing Director, Mr. Y.Y. Gongassin and the Special Project Director in charge of the dualization work, Mrs. Cordelia Onyia, was interpretered to translate that all arrangements and every material needed for the smooth take off and early completion of the project had been put in place. Infact, some residents who spoke to Ika Weekly then were very happy with the development and had expressed optimism that the project will be completed within the stipulated time.

However, such optimism and ray of hope are gradually fading away as there seems to be no sign of construction activities going on, currently on any portion of the road, which stretches from Emuhu junction to Ime-Obi junction. Even the bridge bye-pass that was said to be put in place to divert vehicular and human traffic, away from the main road, to give room for the construction of new bridges in place of the old one has been abandoned, without being completed. All efforts so far made by Ika Weekly to have audience with the contracting firm have so far failed as competent sources close to the company disclosed that the Managing Director has traveled out of the country, as a way of registering his displeasure over the unpleasant development.

It is clearly becoming obvious that the project is having a hiccup either due to technical problem from the government or that the company lacks the engineering and technical capability to execute the project, which every Ika person has continued to insist is vital to the socio-economic lives of the people of Ika nation.

Ika people will not be happy if this vital road project is allowed to go the way of other roads which were portly handled by Rotec Engineering Construction Company which exhibited the highest dereliction to duty, by abandoning almost all jobs given to it even in the face of countless promises to faithfully carry out all work given to it. Ika people do not want to believe that Hi-Tech is worst than Rotec. They are therefore calling on the government and Hi-Tech to sort out whatever that is putting the job on hold and have the project come on stream, as the rainy season is fast approaching.

They also suggested that our representatives in government, especially those representing the people at various levels of government should endeavour to see that the old Lagos/Asaba road is given the urgent attention it deserves, as it will go a long way in improving their ratings before the people. The people are happy over the recent inspection of the level of work and the summon of the contractor to his office at Asaba by the speaker of the State House of Asaba, Rt. Hon. Martin Okonta to clarify certain gray areas bordering on the contract. They say they only hope that the action will not end with mere rhetorics but should be followed with practical actions that will see the project being speedily executed and within agreed terms. On the side of Hi-Tech, the people have asked that the company should be kind enough to let Ika nation know what is holding the job as they are too willing to be of help.

In the last few months, Ika Weekly has been inundated with text messages and representations both on individual and groups registering their displeasure over the way Hi-Tech which they had believed will perform better since it has foreign sponsorship. They say they are shocked that Hi-Tech which had raised their hope is now showing trait of being worse than Rotec

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