Engineers deplore state of Calabar-Itu road project
The chairman of the branch, Mr. Ndifon Agbiji, who spoke when executive members visited Cross River State Controller of Works, Mr. Bassey Nsentip, to seek support for the completion of its secretariat building in Calabar, described the state of the road as mind breaking.
Agbiji stated that NSE has been receiving requests and appeal letters from the public, who expressed their worries and disappointment over the road.
He suggested palliative measures to make the road motorable.”Our greatest concern is the state of Calabar/Itu road. The last time, we had engagement in Port Harcourt, we had to come back through the Oron waterways because the road was blocked for several days.
“We appreciate the fact that Julius Berger has mobilised to site but we went there, the defect of mobilisation is our worries. We know that we are at the peak of the rains, but if we can have palliative measures in place that could allow Nigerians access this road. We cannot over-emphasize the benefit of Calabar-Itu road. As 80 per cent of hotels in Calabar are empty. The economy of Cross River is going down every day because there is no access road to Calabar.”
He noted that the road, which linked other states, has hindered economic growth in Cross River and the country.
The NSE Chairman, however commended the controller for dogged determination to ensure that the Federal Government through the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babajide Fashola, complete the new Ikom Bridge, which is 80per cent completed.
“We are excited that you have been able to pull this through from your office through the Minister of Works and Housing indeed the President. So, for the landmark achievements, we have decided to honour you specially.”
The chairman appealed for support from the office of the Controller to complete its secretariat-building project, which is slated for commissioning in December.
Receiving the team, Nsentip said funding has been the major challenge delaying the construction of Calabar – Itu road, adding that the minister during his last visit disclosed that the ministry was raising funds through SUKUK Sovereign Fund.
He stated that other challenges that have hindered work on the road include, the level of commercial activities, adding that most of the roads are waterlogged.
He said: “The Calabar-Itu road is not a single carriage road, it is a dual carriage road and there are a lot of challenges on the road. Most parts of the road are waterlogged and difficult to work on during the rains.”
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