Nightmare on Calabar-Itu Federal Government Highway has remained unabated. National Assembly members and motorists have cried out for an urgent Federal Government’s intervention.
Speaking with The Guardian in Calabar, at the weekend, Senator representing Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State, Gershom Bassey, called for adequate funding and award of contract for the entire Calabar-Itu Highway, to end the sufferings of the people plying the route.
Bassey said: “Though Julius Berger was awarded the contract for construction of the highway, there is a critical section of the road that was not awarded. I am calling for a complete and total award of the entire road.”
Bassey said he had made a similar plea recently at the Senate while supporting a motion moved by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan of Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial for the award of contract for the complete construction of the highway.
He advised the Executive arm to provide funds for maintenance of critical infrastructure, which has only N30bn in the 2021 budget for 36,000km federal roads in the country.
One of the motorists plying the deplorable road, which Larfage is undergoing an emergency intervention, said: “ We heard of contract award, yet nothing is happening. We are suffering. Our cars go for repairs almost daily.”
Another driver, Patrick Ikot, said: “ This is the road is impassable. We only manage to drive through now with heavy vibration because of the hardcore intervention project by Larfage Cement Company. If a contract has been awarded, let contractors start work before Calabar is completely cut off from the rest of the country. “
Meanwhile, Buhari’s regime had awarded the reconstruction of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene (Calabar-Itu) with Section I of Odukpani-Itu Bridge to Julius Berger at a contract sum of N54.17bn through the 2020 SUKUK funding with payment of N3.0bn so far and the current completion level is 1.82 per cent.