FG releases N185b for dualisation of Calabar-Itu road
The Federal Government has approved N185b for the construction of dualised Calabar-Itu Highway. The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this after inspecting ongoing construction work on the road from Itu in Akwa Ibom State to Odukpani in Cross River State, yesterday.
The federal road, which links Cross River State and Akwa Ibom and the Northern states has been in a deplorable state, subjecting commuters to severe suffering and risks.
Enang explained that, the first phase of the contract was awarded to Julius Berger to the tune of N54 billion, which started construction in Odukpani and Ibiono Ibom axis of the highway in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states until it went on holiday this season.
The president’s aide attributed the delay in the construction of the road to lack of funds, assuring the people that the project will be completed by April 2023. He urged them to be patient and cooperate with contractors handling the project.
He said: “We have been having problems of getting funding for the road, but Mr. President has asked me to assure you that we raised money from the tax credit window from Federal Inland Revenue Service to the NNPC to fund critical infrastructure, mainly road infrastructure.
“Out of the over N600 billion raised from NNPC as tax credit, N185B has been dedicated to this road. The road was awarded in three tranches. The first money that was available was N54b and was for Julius Berger, N52b to CCECC and the last N79b to SAMATECH engineering.”
Speaking with journalists, the SERMATECH representative on site, Mr. Joseph Upata, said the company has reviewed the timeframe of the completion of the project from three years to two, saying that, their own part of the road will be completed by April 2023. He said that SERMATECH has four different teams working on the road to achieve the desired target and complete the dualisation even before the contract time.
Thanking the Federal Government for coming to their aid, the village head of Ikot Ebiya, Oku Iboku, Akwa Ibom State, Eteidung Ikot Idem, commended Mr. President as well as his aide for the intervention and urged them not to abandon the project.