The Enugu State Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure Engr. (Sir) Greg Nnaji, spoke to some newsmen in Abuja at a one day stakeholders seminar on federal highways. He spoke about how the state Governor, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has made road and urban development his priority. Excerpts:
Sir, introduce yourself.
I am Engr. (Sir) Greg Nnaji FNSE, the Honorable Commissioner of works and Infrastructure, Enugu State.
What is the state of roads in your state?
Enugu State is one of the vibrant states in Nigeria. Enugu is the capital of South-Eastern Nigeria. Enugu is a landmark state. So all we are doing in Enugu is to ensure that we maintain existing roads in the first instance, develop roads in the rural areas. By rural area I mean; take development to rural areas. One of the cardinal projects identified by His Excellency, Right Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is to create new urban centers. Take development to rural areas.
There are some federal roads in your state that require maintenance, how do you handle them?
The first infrastructural development this time is road. Road opens places. Since 2015, Enugu State government has spent over N40bn in reconstruction, development and new roads measuring up to 240 Km. Among these roads are notable federal roads that you guys know so much about.
One is Opi – Ubolo Afor express way that leads to the borders with Benue State. The famous 9th Mile – Milliken Hill – we resurfaced and put it back to shape.
From new market there is an interchange to AguAbo – AguAbo bound and Enugu bound. It is a federal road, we rehabilitated it. As we speak now, it is a state of the art road. Even we put electrical infrastructure. We have powered that road with solar panels. So when you come in the night you see Enugu State.
Do you get some assistance from the federal government in order to do more in the area of roads and infrastructure?
I discussed with the honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, his Excellency Babatunde Fashola, I made a point today. It is to ensure that the strip between New Market and foot of Milliken Hill is put back to shape. It is a disgrace to South-Eastern States. As you enter Enugu, you first see the ambiance of the city, the resilience city and the capital city. We want that road properly rehabilitated. He assured me that all documentations that are required in respect of specification, redesign, and soil investigation report to ensure that a sustainable road reconstruction is attained, are in place. And that in the next couple of weeks the contractors will be back on site.
We appreciated him too, because, from 9th Mile to Onitsha, construction work is ongoing, from Enugu Mega Filling Station to Border road in Abia State, the federal contractors are doing their best.
Why special mention of this part of the road?
It is because 9th mile is a gateway to Enugu State and because Enugu State government has done its bit, it is necessary that the safety of our people is assured. We are talking about safety on the road, we are talking about sustainability on the roads, and we are talking about loads. This particular road is classified as one of the food baskets roads that take foods and heavy trucks and heavy exile loads to Enugu.
So there is need we have a total rehabilitation of this road that has zero point at Abakpa Junction and is just about 5Kms distance but of course Onitsha bound and Enugu bound.
We discover that all we need is federal attention. However, the governor in his passion to make things work for Enugurians is bent on making sure that local communities, urban centers, creating more urban centers; we are on top of that.
Thanks for your time.
You are welcome.