We’ll Fix The Ancient Ruins Of Port Harcourt Road-Aba, Under 18 Months – Gov. Otti Vows
In fulfillment to one of his campaign promises, the Executive governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti on Thursday, October 12, 2023, flagged off the reconstruction of the long abandoned 6.7KM PortHarcourt road- Aba, contracted to popular Julius Berger construction company.
Speaking at the flag off, the governor noted that he is fulfilled that the ancient ruins of the road would be rebuilt by his administration to see the revival of economic activities in that area.
Otti regretted that the dilapidated nature and half hazard job done on the road by the past administration saw to the vacation of businesses and loss of properties in the area, and promised that quality reconstruction of the road would last for only a year and six months.
The governor’s statement read in parts;
“I’m glad that we are taking yet another strategic step in fulfilling one of my major campaign promises which is to permanently break the jinx of Port Harcourt Road Aba and revive the long-abandoned economic activities.
“….the businesses, including those that had their corporate headquarters around here began to disappear, finding more favourable locations as it became clear that succeeding administrations did not have the will to make the right commitments to restore this stretch of road and sustain its economic advantages; until today.
“…….We also had to invite other construction companies to have a look-in and send us their reports. To be clear, we were careful not to repeat the errors and misjudgements of the past for which the state wasted billions of taxpayers’ money without any measurable improvements in the condition of the road for more than 20 years.
“For us, it is either we reconstruct Port Harcourt Road and do it well or we don’t do it at all. Remember that during my several stops in this great city during the electioneering campaigns, I made one thing very clear: we shall only go for the best because you deserve no less.
“With the above covenant in mind, we resisted the temptation to start another trial and error on a road as important as this and decided to accept the engineering design and bid presented to us by possibly the most reputable civil engineering company in Nigeria with more than 50 years of operational experience and several landmark projects in all parts of the country to its name, Julius Berger Plc.
“For us, Port Harcourt Road Aba is not just any other project, it will be a testament of our willingness and determination to “rebuild ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated” as contained in Isaiah 61: 4.
“I would refuse to be drawn into the tragedies and heartbreaks that attended previous attempts at fixing this 6.7km stretch of road but would rather invite you to look to the future with great optimism and expectations, certain that the days of mediocrity are over. We are here to rebuild, and this flag off exercise is a definite confirmation that Aba’s days of glory are about to be restored.
1″For the purpose of clarity, we are not just talking about pouring asphalt or doing any haphazard job just for cheap political capital. We have brought Julius Berger here for some well-defined reasons: to do a holistic job of fixing the road, addressing the age-long flooding problems especially at notoriously problematic points using appropriate technology and expertise; and ultimately see to it that with very minimal maintenance at regular intervals, this road shall continue to support the existing, new and returning businesses and their activities for at the very least, another twenty years, post-commissioning.
“My team members and I, including the state commissioner for works and many senior engineering staff of the ministry, worked closely with the team from Julius Berger to ensure that the technical design and specifications adopted answered all the important questions regarding durability, reliability, flood control and other critical parameters.
“It is our expectation that on completion, the reconstructed Port Harcourt Road will drive the economic rejuvenation of this resilient city and send a clear message to the businesses that had left that the Elephant is back on its feet, never to stumble again.
“As agreed by all parties, this project has a delivery timeline not exceeding 18 months. My expectation is that whatever needs to be done to meet the target would be done, including working round the clock. On our own part, we have set up a robust financing structure to see that we complete the payment on schedule to eliminate any setbacks arising from payment delays.