ABA (Sundiata Post) – The Minister of Works, Mr David Umahi, on Saturday, ordered the arrest of some perons trading on the completed section of the Aba axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, still undergoing rehabilitation.
Umahi, who was in Aba to inspect the project, directed the security operatives attached to his motorcade to arrest the erring traders.
He expressed disappointment over the activities of the traders, saying that they would be charged to court according to the law of the land.
He said: “It appears the people here like to inflict injuries on themselves.
“They can’t even allow the contractor to work.
“They drive against traffic. They use the completed road for parks, trading and dumping of refuse.
“The whole of Aba refuse is being dumped on this road. It is not encouraging at all.
“I will advise the governor to set up a task force here.
“We wouldn’t like after the Federal Government had spent so much here we see people building and trading on the road.
“So, the only way out for this work to be completed is for the governor to set up a task force and clear the road.
“The citizens of this country will need to do their bit, while leadership also does its bit. That is the only way it will work.
“While Mr President is passing through sleepless nights on how to solve the problems of a very bad inherited economy, Nigerians should support him and also support themselves.”
The minister expressed satisfaction with the job done by Arab Contractors.
In an interview with newsmen, he said that the project, which was first awarded about 10 years ago, had yet to be completed because of the high cost of construction materials.
“When I came on board in August 2023, bitumen was N500,000 per ton, but today it’s about N1.3 million.
“That is why we are asking, can we go for concrete that is almost about 95 per cent sourced locally?”
Earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in Abia, Tony Onwubiko, said that the project covered about 57km from Abia Tower in Umuahia to the Railway Crossing at Alaoji in Osisioma Local Government Area.
Reports that the minister had earlier inspected the NNPC Filling Station, near Umuahia and Abia Tower section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
He also expressed happiness with the work done by Setraco Nigeria Limited, but urged the company to correct some errors that he detected. (NAN)