Chief David Umahi, the Minister of Works, has called upon State Governors to actively supervise and monitor federal road projects within their respective states to ensure strict compliance with project specifications.
Umahi conveyed this counsel during a courtesy visit to Governor Hope Uzodimma at the Government House in Owerri on Friday evening. The information was disclosed in a statement issued by Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Uzodimma, on Saturday.
The statement highlighted that Umahi issued a warning that approvals for completed projects would be withheld if the Commissioner for Works from the respective state did not participate in the oversight of such repair works.
The Minister, who was on an inspection tour of ongoing Federal Government projects in the state, praised the quality of federal government roads, especially the Owerri to Okigwe road, which Governor Uzodimma initiated and completed in record time. Umahi described it as one of the finest roads he had encountered during his tenure as Minister, commending and lauding the Governor’s achievements.
Umahi also disclosed that Imo State had three federal road projects in progress, with only one currently underway. He directed the contractor responsible for the Owerri-Okpalla-Port Harcourt-Enugu Express road to expedite the completion of the first section, while the remaining 46km stretch should be revised to meet new standards and requirements.
Furthermore, Umahi pledged to allocate funds for the construction of the Orlu-Mgbe-Akokwa-Uga road in the 2024 budget. He also expressed his intent to terminate the contract for the Ama Nwozuzu-Orie Amaraku road due to a lack of substantial progress despite the contractor’s mobilization.
Umahi praised Governor Uzodimma for successfully completing several federal road projects in the state and promised to work towards realizing agreements previously established between the State and Federal Governments by the previous administration.
In response, Governor Uzodimma commended President Bola Tinubu for appointing Umahi as the Minister of Works and reminded him that Nigerians were closely watching for him to replicate his accomplishments in Ebonyi State at the federal level.
Uzodimma highlighted the approvals he secured from former President Muhammadu Buhari for the construction of the Owerri-Okigwe and Owerri-Orlu roads, which have already been completed, and the ongoing progress on the Owerri-Umuahia road.
The Governor expressed his disappointment with the lack of progress on the Owerri-Aba road, awarded to RCCG 14 years ago, and urged Umahi to address the situation.
Uzodimma also advocated for a comprehensive audit of federal projects nationwide to assess their progress and ensure equitable distribution across geopolitical zones. He called for a reevaluation of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and encouraged Umahi to promote concrete road technology for job creation and infrastructure sustainability.
Additionally, Uzodimma announced plans to lead South East leaders on a thank-you visit to the President, acknowledging the loyalty of the Igbo people to the Nigerian project and emphasizing the mutual need for Nigeria’s unity and prosperity.