The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari led administration recorded greater achievements in the South-east than the 16 years government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The minister said this on Wednesday in Aba, while inspecting the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriage way reconstruction and rehabilitation.
The minister, who inspected the project with a team of journalists, said that in three years, “the Buhari government can lay claim to many completed and ongoing infrastructure development in the south east.’’
Specifically, he said the strategic Enugu-Port Harcourt road in the region was awarded by the PDP administration in 2014 but abandoned due to no cash backing.
Mr Mohammed said upon assumption of office, the Buhari administration had funded the project to over 50 per cent completion.
“The Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriage way is a major route in the South-east and the major towns along the route are, Enugu Okigwe, Umuahia, Aba and Port Harcourt.
“The traffic volume generated on the road spanning a total length of 118km is very high.
“The road had suffered various deformations and distress in the form of slippage, rutting, fatigue, edge crack, and portholes.
“The road had become almost impassable until this administration came to the rescue
“Yet, the naysayers have painted the administration as have not done anything for the south east zone,’’ he said.
Mr Mohammed stressed that the 16 years of PDP in power was a waste to the south east region contrary to what the naysayers were saying.
The minister also justified his claim with the progress made by the Buhari’s administration on the second Niger Bridge also awarded by PDP government but not funded.
He said the Buhari administration had sustained funding of the second Niger bridge project to near completion.
“In 16 years, what did the PDP do on the Enugu-Port Harcourt road and the second Niger Bridge?
“Everything that we saw today is what this administration has achieved, yet some politicians are so fraudulent they sit in Abuja and accuse the administration of not doing anything for the south east.
“From what you have seen, you will see that this administration has done so much for this zone. We can now see that some people are just misinforming the public,’’ he said
The minister called on politicians to make statements of facts on the achievements of the administration rather than politicising the progress recorded.
The Federal Controller of Works, Enugu state, Oyekanmi Olufemi, said the Enugu-Port Harcourt road was divided into four sections and each awarded to different contractors.
He said the Enugu to Lokpanta section was awarded to Messrs CGC construction Ltd, while the Lokpanta to Umuahia Tower was awarded to Messrs Setraco Nig. Ltd.
Mr Olufemi said that the Umuahia Tower to Aba section was awarded to Messrs Arab Contractors, while Messrs CCEC Construction firm was handling the Aba to Port Harcourt section
“The contract was awarded in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in the sum of N32 billion
“But unfortunately, money that was supposed to be paid to the contractors which is 15 per cent of the contract sum, N4 billion, was a major challenge.
“As at 2015, the amount given to the contractors was only N100 million, with that they could not start.
“The new government came in and the first budget of the new government was in 2016, funding started in earnest.
“As I speak with you today, the advance payment of N4.08 billion has fully been paid by this government and the contractor has done a lot of work since they mobilised to sites,’’ he said.
The minister inspected the four sections of the road and expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far.