By Bolaji Ogundele
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Presidency has expressed confidence that the recently approved dualization of the outstanding portion of the Calabar – Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Expressway would positively impact on the economy of the South-South/South-East states.
Giving the assurances in a statement made available to State House Correspondents over the weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and Federal Executive Council (FEC) for doing the needful.
It would be recalled that the FEC, recently, approved the award of the contract to the tune of N50.2 billion.
The Presidential aide noted that the road, when completed, will improve the economies of Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Abia States.
Enang also charged the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fasola (SAN), as well as the Minister of Fiance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, to do all that would be needed for the take-off, sustenance and completion of the project.
“On the approval for award of the above project at N50.2 billion naira at penultimate Wednesday Federal Executive Council, I, on behalf of the people of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Abia states, and indeed the commuting public, do express sincere appreciation to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for this great favour to the people of South South/South East and indeed the Nation.
“This road, constructed in 1976 as single lane is now for dualization from Calabar – Odukpani in Cross River State – Itu – Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State leading to the yet to be awarded section of Ikot Ekpene (Akwa Ibom) to Aba in Abia States.
“Your Excellency and the Federal Executive Council have by this breathed life into the economy of the South South & South East, this road being the economic Artery of the two zones and indeed lightened the sufferings of the commuting public.
“Let me express special appreciation to His Excellency, the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, and the entire Ministry of Works & Housing; Distinguished Senator Udoma Udo Udoma (CON), the immediate past Minister of Budget & National Planning who worked hand in hand with me to capture the funds in the Appropriation process.
“We pray the Ministers of Works & Housing and that of Finance, Budget and National Planning to please assist the take off and sustenance of the project for completion within the contractual timeframe by making adequate budgetary provisions annually.
“To the Secretary, Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and his team at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), a big thank you as we together make more impact in the South South/South East geopolitical zones”, the statement said.