Dear Mr President Muhammed Buhari GCFR,
In May, 2019 it was widely reported by all the major newspapers that your Federal Executive Council has approved the award of 13, 296,283,958.68 contract for the construction and rehabilitation of Umuahia(Ikwuano) Ikot-Ekpene Road. The people were very happy and grateful for the award.
This announcement of the award was made by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and according to him, the project would enhance the Federal Government’s objective of improving transportation infrastructure and restoring the nation’s road network as part of implementation of the economic recovery and growth plan.
The approval according to the report was sequel to a memorandum presented to Federal Executive Council by the Minister on May, 2019. The contract of Umuahia,Ikwuano/Ikot Ekpene Road construction was awarded to Messrs Hartland Nigeria Limited/Raycon Company Nigeria Limited with a completion date of 48 months.
We pause to appreciate the Honourable Member representing our constituency, Hon. Sam Onuigbo for attracting the project and the Honourable Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola who prepared the memo for the award by your government. They all meant well, we believe.
Your Excellency, despite our joy for the award, some of us raised an initial alarm concerning the contract because of lack of specifics in the disclosure about the terms of the contract. The concerns were:
1.Does the contract include construction, dualization or just mere rehabilitation?
That narrow road constructed during the colonial era now links Abia to Akwa Ibom and Cross River State down to Cameroon in West Africa and is used frequently by big trucks and other users for their commercial engagements.
Why will such an important road be left without dualization and proper reconstruction that has good drainage system?
2. How competent is the contractor that is handling the contract for the construction of Umuahia (Ikwuano)/Ikot Ekpene Road axis? The level and quality of work so far done on the Ikwuano leaves a sour taste in the mouth. The little drainage work done at some of the places in Oboro area of the contract does not show that there is any good intention to do a thorough work that will surely stand the test of time and beneficial to the users of the road. The quality is not only below standard, it is utterly poor.
Having raised these vital posers and provided some vital information associated with the posers, I want to inform Your Excellency that the contractor has pulled out of the road, in short they have abandoned the project.
We made inquiries as to why the contractor abandoned the contract and we reliably informed that it is as a result of no release of funds for the contract.
Your Excellency we are shocked at this report of “No Fund Release”. The question will be why would a contract of such importance and magnitude be awarded with no intention to complete the project expecially when the objective of the award was made known to the whole world?
Now as I put down this piece to you sir, the road is in the worst condition ever, the people are suffering daily commuting on that road. A journey of about 30 minutes now lasts about 3 hours due to the terrible and unacceptable condition of the road. Our joy has turned to sorrow as the people are daily subjected to the gravest level of suffering while going or returning from their daily work. The objective of providing motorable road for economic activities of the people has been defeated by the current turn of event.
We do not want to believe that this present government at the centre awarded the road construction for the purpose of punishing the people, we would rather think and believe that it was awarded with every good intention to allievate the sufferings of the people and rejig economic activities that are highly beneficial to the people, State and the entire country.
In that wise, we appeal to Your Exellency to cause the release of funds for the continuation of the work of the contract on the said road and ensure a maximum supervision of the quality of work that is being carried out on that road that has socio-economic advantages to the entire nation.
If the contractor is found not to be capable of carrying out a good job on the road, we suggest that they be changed by the Ministry of Works and Housing immediately.
The people of Ikwuano in Abia have suffered enough concerning this road and which every government has failed, refused and neglected to correct. We believe that your government will not join other governments that failed to fix this very important road that is critical to the survival of the indigenes of Ikwuano in Abia State.
We will be grateful and will not forget this gesture if this perennial suffering of Ikwuano People will be finally laid to rest by your administration sir.
We have this belief that it will not be business as usual concerning this road.
Thanking you in advance sir for your immediate response to end our perennial suffering in Ikwuano in Abia State.
Dr Monday Onyekachi Ubani
Legal Practitioner and a Son of Ikwuano LGA, Abia State.
Cc: Mr Babatunde Fashola,
Minister Of Works &
Cc: Director in Charge of the
Road, Ministry of Works
Cc: Senator T.A. Orji
Cc: Hon. Sam Onuigbo
Cc: Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
PHD, Abia State.