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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Be Patient with Tinubu, We Need a Lot of Money to Work — Umahi Tells Nigerians


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Minister of Works, Chief David Umahi, has advised Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu’s administration as, according to him, the administration has wonderful vision for the country but needs huge amount of money to work it out.

Umahi, who is the immediate-past Governor of Ebonyi State, gave the advice over the weekend while on a two-day visit to inspect federal roads in Anambra State.

The Minister who toured round some federal roads and gully erosion sites in the State, also visited the Second Niger Bridge, where he commended the contractor for doing nice and quality job. He, however, directed the generator-powered streetlights installed on the bridge be changed to solar streetlights for better efficiency and effectiveness.

Umahi also gave a forty-eight-hour ultimatum to the contractor handling the Amansea and Umunya axis of Enugu-Onitsha Express Road to make all the deplorable portions of the road motorable or have the contract revoked. He regretted that the contractor had wasted a lot of time on the road without any tangible result.

Speaking at the at the Oba erosion site where dangerous erosion gully is currently threatening the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway, the Minister who expressed shock at the magnitude of the gully and the risks it poses, assured that the Federal Government would take urgent steps to ensure that the Owerri-bound side of the expressway is not severed as it had happened to the Onitsha-bound side.

“The magnitude of the gully at Oba is beyond the capacity of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to reverse,” he said.

Continuing, he said: “This is a very difficult situation, I must say.

“We will look at the possibility of diverting the drainage so as to save the other lane from getting cut off.

“I must say that this is a difficult situation because if we cannot divert the flood, we must divert the road.”

He also opined that the permanent solution to the Oba gully erosion was to pile the two ends of the road, noting that such work could be done only during the dry season.

According to him, apart from Oba, two other serious gully erosion sites threatening the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway were at the Ozubulu end of the road.

Similarly, the Minister also visited the Nnewi-Oba Road, where he directed the contractor handling the project to suspend work and redesign the road to use concrete pavement to address obvious challenges.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the inspection, Umahi advised Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu’s government on the execution of projects, especially roads, as the government needs money to fix the failed roads and execute other projects it has in plan for the people.

“We need huge amount of money to fix roads.

“As a government, we are thinking out of the box to source money to ensure that things work.

“For instance, I am reviewing a number of projects to determine where we can cut cost,” the Minister said.

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