Motorists plying Enugu-Onitsha dual carriage are going through difficulties due to the bad state of a section of the road, it was gathered.
25 kilometres of the highway from Umunya in Oyi Local Government Area to Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra, have been washed away by rain.
Also affected is the portion of the highway from Ukpo to Amawbia near Awka, and other parts with deep potholes due to high volume of oil tankers and other articulated vehicles using the road.
The situation has forced car owners to divert through Umunya-Nteje road, using a belly bridge constructed during the civil war, where representatives of Umunya and Nteje collect N50 levy on every vehicle that pass through.
Mr. John Okwuosa, a commercial driver, said that he prefer to pay the levy than go through the failed section of the highway, to save his vehicle from damage.
“On two occasions within one month, my bus broke down on Umunya-Nteje end of the Enugu-Onitsha highway; the first was when my two tires burst because I drove into a ditch while the other was when my engine over-heated damaging the vehicle top cylinder.
“After these terrible experiences, I decided to join other drivers who pass through Umunya-Nteje bridge where the community collects N50 from drivers’’, he said.
Mrs Monica Chukwujekwu, a civil servant who resides in Onitsha, but works in Awka described the state of the Enugu-Onitsha road as “a nightmare” to road users.
“Before now we spent about 40 minutes from Onitsha to Awka, but now we spend almost one and half hours due to several bad portions on the road’’, she said.
Another commuter, Mr Uchenna Ukaeje, appealed to the Federal Government to rehabilitate the failed section of the road to ease the hardship faced by commuters.
“Some of us are not politicians, but our rating of government’s performance depends on the quality of infrastructure and amenities provided by the government’’.
“The concern of the ordinary citizens is to access good facilities, when these facilities go bad, government should fix them back,” Ukaeje said.
When contacted, Mr Edward Onuora, the Federal Controller of Works in the state, said the Federal Government would soon award contract for the reconstruction of the affected section of the highway.
“The much I know about the state of Umunya-Nteje-Amawbia end of the Enugu/Onitsha federal Highway is that the design has been done, and now awaiting award of the project by the Federal Government’’, Onuora said.
He appealed to road users to exercise patience, assuring that the road would be rehabilitated.
“The road from Umunya to Onitsha was also bad, but the federal government awarded and executed the project which was delivered just last year’’, he said.