By NAN

President Muhammadu Buhari says, the completion of the Nenwe-Oduma road is a statement of economic efficiency and ease of doing business.

The president said this at the Official Commissioning and handover of the Section I and II of the Nenwe-Oduma road in Enugu and Ebonyi states on Thursday in Enugu.

He was represented at the occasion by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.

“Our commitment is to improve road transport infrastructure, and we are determined to improve the ease of doing business, create jobs and prosperity to lift people out of poverty.

“This road links Enugu and Ebonyi states and it is a critical component of our national road network. It has been built to the highest quality of design and workmanship and if it is well used and not abused, it should last for the designed service life.

“Nenwe-Odoma road is a statement of economic efficiency and ease of doing business, because the travel time which was averagely four hours before construction has now reduced to two hours since the completion of the road.”

He therefore implored the people not to exceed 100-km, adding that ‘We want you alive to witness and be part of the prosperity and promise of Nigeria’.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, describing the road, said the road is a visible asset and proof of what Nigeria’s resources were invested in, from a combination of earned resources and borrowings.He was represented by Mr Bola Aganaba, Director, Highways South-East Zone.

“This project and many more in various parts of great country represent major investments in road transport infrastracture which is a commitment of the Buhari administration as a driver for economic growth and prosperity.

“This occasion affords another opportunity to acknowledge the impact of SUKUK funding in the completion of Nenwe-Oduma road, Sections I and II, in Enugu and Ebonyi states.

“The SUKUK is currently contributing to progress of work on 44 roads across Nigeria, I want to express gratitude to our Government, investors, Ministry of Finance, members of the National Assembly and House Committees on Works in the 8th and 9th assembly for their support,” Fashola said.

On his part, Mr Greg Nnaji, Commissioner for Works and Infrastracture representing the Enugu Estate Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said it was heart warming to witness the commissioning of the 26-kilometer road in Enugu and 14-kilometre in Ebonyi states.

“The underlining infrastructural benefit is that instances of economic activities are been boosted.

“Therefore, this particular road is in no small way as a critical infrastracture for the people of Enugu state and as an interstate road take its pride of place as one road of the critical infrastructure delivered by the Federal Government to the state.

“Therefore, the economic impact of this road cannot be over emphasised. The people of this area, as an agrarian community, has an opportunity to bring out their food and boost their economy.

“We therefore want to show our gratitude to Mr President and the Commander in Chief and congratulate the minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on the completion of the road,” Nnaji said.

He, however, urged the people of the community and other road users to protect the road as a critical national infrastructure.

In attendance also were Royal Fathers who also commended the commitment of government to delivering the  road  infrastructure.

One of the Royal Fathers, Eze Moses Ngele, the Agu III of Ishiagu-Ivo Local Government Area, Ebonyi state, recalled that the road had been initiated by then Sen. Ike Ekweremadu and now completed by the Buhari administration.

“Today is a great day for Oduma for we know how we suffered on this road, immediately after reaching Nenwe we will tumble and tumble but today it is a thing of joy, we thank God for that and all those that are involved.

He said the area was formerly deplorable and not motorable but now people can travel easily to sell their products and do other economic activities.

He urged the government to continue monitoring the road because it is not only critical to the communities around but it is an interstate road that leads to Ebonyi and Cross River states.

Another Royal Highness, Igwe Patrick Oshiekwe, the Ohazulume I of Ukete-Oduma, also commended the government for bringing development to the community and surrounding communities.

He added that the completion of the road has brought great relief to the people of the area.

He called on the people to make judicious use of the road while ensuring that they do not abuse it.

A community leader, Mr Chukwu Sylvester, from Obuagu Ezinato Ohafia Oduma Aninri, said the people are happy and grateful to the government for the completed road.

He added that they could now live like decent people and not be coated with dirt when making their journeys to Enugu.

Mrs Janet Okolo, a rice farmer, was full of joy, saying that now they can earn more as they can easily take their farm produce to neighbouring communities and make more profit. “Besides, we will more economically independent.”

Okolo, however, called on the government to do more, to take the construction to other areas in the state so that every citizen would feel the impact of the administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the construction of the Nenwe-Oduma-Uburu Road (26.27km) and Section II Spur to Ishiagu-Mile 2 Road (14km) all on Enugu/Ebonyi states is divided into two phases with a total length of 40.27 km. (NAN)

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