A COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO DAY TOUR OF ABIA STATE GOVERNMENT PROJECTS BY MEMBERS OF ONLINE MEDIA PRACTITIONERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (OMPAN), ABIA STATE CHAPTER
1. One of the Presidents of the United State of America, Thomas Jefferson, while writing to Edward Carrington in 1787, said “And were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers (Press), or newspapers (Press) without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter…”
As the Watchdog of the society, it is important that the media keep the citizens of the state and the country abreast of government’s activities and programmes. It is therefore, in line with this cardinal objectives of the media that members of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN), Abia State Chapter embarked on a tour of some projects currently being undertaken by the Abia State Government under the watch of Governor Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu.
2. As earlier mentioned, the association toured some projects across the three senatorial zones in the state, including Abia North, Abia Central and Abia South, and some of the projects toured include the Nkpa Road, Aba road Umuahia, the Osisioma inter-change/Flyover, Brass/Faulks Road, Ife Obara Pond, Eziukwu Road, Port Harcourt Road, Ukaegbu, Osusu and Ehere Roads.
Others include, Owerre off Okigwe road, Umuola, Weeks Street, Echefu, Omenne among other roads.
3. OMPAN, while commending the state governor, Dr.OkezieIkpeazu, who for the first time in the history of the state, has employed the use of cement technological invention in the construction of some roads in Aba in particular, were at the same time amazed that of most of the roads toured, only the contractor handling Faulks road was on site. Whereas the contractors manning other projects like; Eziukwu Road, Port Harcourt Road Nkpa road, Aba road and other vital roads were not on site.
4. That some residents of the state who interacted with members of OMPAN during the tour expressed disappointment over the inability of the state government to maintain steady pace of work at project sites. This is even as they called for timely completion of these projects, laying more emphasis on the fact that these road projects has brought untold hardship on the roads users, stalled their businesses, besides the related health hazards as these roads and the stagnant gutters has become death trap and brooding place for mosquitoes that has continued to reak havoc on the environs, calling on the government to round off these projects.
Abia OMPAN in the course of this tour also realised that the possibility of completing the Osisioma flyover by January 2019 as originally planned, is not very feasible as the contractor handling the project is working at a slow pace.
5. OMPAN in her professional capacity is urging the state government to mobilize all contractors handling construction of road projects like (Osusu, Eziukwu, Ngwa Road, Port Harcourt Road, Aba Road, Nkpa Road among others) in the state to ensure that they are completed before the next rainy season to ultimately ease off the stress on road users and give our people who have lost their businesses their lives back because one cannot but imagine the untold hardship that will engulf their lives once the rains return.
When this is achieved, it will go a long way to improve the traffic condition on our roads, and at the same time help to avoid the adverse effects of abandoning the jobs half way, which will result to waste of resources, owing to the fact that most of the jobs already done will be repeated when ever the contractor returns to site, which is a monumental case of wastage of Tax Payers money.
6. The Association is of the opinion that the state government should monitor the quality of work carried out by the various contractors through the State Ministry of Works to ensure that they deliver not only at record time, but also according to the standard at which the projects were awarded, because it was noticed that some of the drainages done are already collapsing.
7. OMPAN also gathered in the course of interacting with the residents that Government is yet to pay off the compensation for the landlords whose houses where demolished in the process of expansion and construction, especially at AmaOgbonna, Port Harcourt road, Osusu road etc and decried the fact that the roads for which their houses was demolished isn’t receiving requisite attention.
8. OMPAN Commends Dr.Ikpeazu for job well done on roads like Omne, weeks, ochefu, ukaegbu, Umuola, ehere road, etc.
9. Finally, OPMAN is also using this opportunity to call on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, commence work on federal roads such as Aba-IkotEkpene, Opobo-Azumini, Umuahia-IkotEkpene Expressway.
These aforementioned roads are strategic to, not only the economy of Abia State and Nigeria, but the West African Region and as such must be given the urgent attention that they deserved. The present condition of these roads deserves state of emergency. Abia State remains strategic to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and GNP (Gross National Product) of the country’s economy and therefore deserves every attention from both the state and the federal government respectively.
Signed: Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigerian, Abia state