Former Nigerian Consul General to South Africa, Amb. Okey Emuchay, has commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for approving the release of funds for the re- commencement of work on two federal highways in Abia state. The roads are the Obehie/ Azumini and the Akirika/Azumini/Iwukem roads. Construction work on the Obehie/Azumini road started in 2007, but was later abandoned due to funds constraints. The Akrika/Azumini/Iwukem road links rural communities in Abia and Akwa Ibom states. The Obehie/Azumini/ road was abandoned as a result of the sum of N8b said to have been owed the Chinese firm handling the reconstruction work, CCECC.
Speaking in a telephone chat, Amb. Emuchay while commending President Goodluck Jonathan, said he had approved funds to restart the road construction through the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
of the Economy/Minister of Finance (CME/MOF), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala who promised to help speak with the president, who in turn later approved the release of N3b to the company.
Ambassador Emuchay said the sum of N1.8b was paid to CCECC without delay which enabled them to return to site.
When THISDAY visited the area, work was going on steadily on the Azumini section of the highway, while one of the workers on site who would not want his name in print said the Company would need the balance of the firms outstanding payment for work to continue to Obehie.
Emuchay said in the same vein, that the federal government has awarded contract for the reconstruction of the Akirika/Azumini/Iwukem road.
The award of contract for the reconstruction of the road which was handled by FERMA is also sequel to a representation made to the Minister of Works by Amb Okey Emuchay.
Although the contract had been awarded, the construction firm Zerock was yet to mobilize to site, prompting Amb . Emuchay to urge Zerock to mobilize to site before the rainy season in order not to obfuscate the good intentions of Mr President.