• Monday, July 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Otti inaugurates 3.5km 16-lane Ossah-Michael Okpara Square Road

Otti urges ICAN members to see selves as stakeholders in administration’s rebuilding agenda

…Renames it Aguiyi Ironsi Boulevard

As part of the activities lined up to mark his one year in office, Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has inaugurated the 3.5 kilometre 6-lane road which stretches from Abia Tower on Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway through Ossah Community to Michael Okpara Square at Centre of Umuahia capital city of the state.

Speaking during the ceremony, Otti noted that it was indeed, a thing of great joy to see the excitement on the faces of so many people who had come to witness the ceremony.

“We came to power on this day one year ago with a firm promise to make a difference, to serve the people with sincerity, dedication, and the courage to do things differently. It has been 12 months of striving and learning, and we are very grateful to God for the very privilege of serving His people, and to you, umunne m Ndi Abia for all the support you have given to the administration.

“This project was officially flagged off on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, four months into our administration, after due compensation had been paid to property owners affected by the road expansion and modification project as proposed at the time. The successful completion of this project after just eight months points to our determination to deliver on the important promises that won us the support of millions of Ndi Abia at home and in the Diaspora,” Otti said.

He thanked the Commissioner for Works and his team for all the hard work, and professionalism they brought to the execution of this project.

He equally commended the project engineers and everyone at Craneburg Construction Co. Ltd. for demonstrating in no uncertain terms that contractors could be trusted to deliver very high-quality projects ahead of schedule.

The governor pointed out that the road project was very significant for a number of reasons, adding that for starters, it was the first clear sign to anyone visiting the state capital from that axis that a new dawn, defined by bold thinking, was upon Abia.

“But it is a lot more. It speaks to the emerging tradition of excellence and innovation, stakeholder collaboration, and the place of due process in the conduct of government business.

“This project as you know could not have been delivered without the active support of various stakeholders across frontiers. All of what was accomplished to get to this point, including relocation of electricity infrastructure, demolition of physical structures to expand the size of the road, and the watertight security for construction workers, equipment and materials could not have happened without the generous support of multiple actors connected directly and remotely to the execution of the project. The teams became better on account of what was learnt over the life cycle of this project. The lesson picked has proved immensely valuable in our other infrastructure development projects across the state.

“This project is more than just your regular road. It will be the foundation of what we intend to do to turn around the fortunes of Umuahia as an important urban address.

“Our design for Umuahia goes beyond administration and politics. The flag off of the Abia Urban Renewal and Public Transport Project for Umuahia will take place immediately we round off this commissioning ceremony,” Otti said.

The governor disclosed that the Urban Renewal and Public Transport Project would on completion change the face of public transportation in Umuahia for good, eliminating traffic congestion while improving passengers’ safety and comfort.

He further hinted that it would improve the aesthetics of the city with the construction of world class bus and truck transit terminals at safe distances from the city centre, bus shelters along strategic points within the intra-city routes, and improvement works at major road intersections.

Otti observed that with completion of the 3.5 kilometre stretch road, the foundation for much of the good things that the Abia Urban Renewal and Public Transport Project promises had been laid.

“What I can ultimately assure you is that very soon, nobody shall be able to deride this important city again as a “glorified village.” The new infrastructural and social service systems we are introducing will bring our beloved Umuahia at par, or even better, than its peers in other parts of the country and beyond,” he assured.

He recalled that during the flag off ceremony for the reconstruction of the inaugurated road last year, he did promise to commence the dualisation and holistic improvement of the stretch from Abia Tower to Onuimo, terminating at the boundary with Imo State.

“The aim, like I announced at the time, is to make all entry points into the state a grand epitome of the new spirit of Abia.

“The dream remains alive as officials of the State Ministry of Works continue to engage with their counterparts at the Federal level for the purpose of aligning the engineering design and other important preliminary works. Other departments of Government are currently engaging with the stakeholders to complete the ground works that will bring all of us on the same page.

“Our ultimate goal is to remodel Umuahia into a great city that supports its primary role as the state capital; but also as an attractive destination for those seeking to set up, and run profitable businesses, start a new life, raise families, and travel for leisure. We have a 360-degree view of what will change in Umuahia by the time we are done.

“This city will in the next 18 to 24 months become a reference point in the development of sustainable cities in this part of the world. We shall invest massively in suitable support infrastructural facilities especially roads, rail lines, efficient water supply for homes and offices and independent and reliable electricity supply system,” he further said.
Otti thereafter, named the road Aguiyi Ironsi Boulevard in memory of the first Nigerian Army General and Head of State, from Umuahia Ibeku