The Governor, Dr Alex Otti has formally flagged off 3.5 kilometer – 6 lane Okpara Square -Ossah -Express Tower Road with a promise to extend the project to the Onuimo axis in Imo State.
Speaking while performing the exercise, Governor Otti promised that the road project will be executed with standard drainage system, solar powered street lights and others.
The Governor noted that the decision to expand the road to 6 lanes was to unlock the economic potentials of the state capital, Umuahia as well as open up the city to greater economic opportunities.
He announced that the administration has commenced payment of compensation to owners of the 130 structures marked for demolition as all the money required to pay compensation has been provided and asked those yet to receive theirs to exercise patience as the delay could be from their financial Institutions.
The Governor who said government feels the pains of the people, added that he decided to delay the flag off until now to allow for compensation to be released to owners of affected structures.
Governor Otti while assuring that a quality 6 lane road project would be delivered, expressed the hope that the Construction company the Craneburg being a reputable construction firm will deliver a quality road network with standard drainage system and Solar powered street lights.
He reiterated that same project would be replicated on the Imo River – Umuikaa-Obikabia-Umuene – Ukaegbu road to Aba down to Ikot Ekpene road as alternative into Akwa Ibom State to decongest Aba the commercial nerve centre.
Earlier,the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Chaka Chukwumerije in a Town Hall meeting with the people of Ossah and Umuorie revealed that about one hundred and thirty structures will be affected, adding that the people affected had already been notified.
The Commissioner further informed that the valuation, and enumeration had been concluded with the various claimants confirming their claims.
Chukwumerije noted that the time for relocation had been postponed several times to allow proper time for engagement and relocation, hence, the need to commence demolition on the road soon.
According to Chukwumerije, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, approved the full payment of the compensation, “the people have been very supportive. We gave assurance to the people that they will start receiving alerts and this is in line with the government keeping to its words”.
He announced that payment of compensation would effectively commence Monday, September 25, adding that everything in connection with the issue of compensation has been transparently worked out to the last detail.
Chukwumerije said that indemnity forms were earlier issued to property owners to fill with their bank details and returned to the Ministry which would issue them Indemnity Certificates to receive compensation.
He, however, explained that after receiving their compensation, every property owner was required to come back to the Ministry of Lands “for documentation” to prevent future claims.
The Commissioner for Works, Engr. Dom Otumchere Oti revealed that the six lane road will come with drainage, side walk, stone base and will stand the taste of time.
He further said that the road will unlock the economic potential of Umuahia and thanked residents of the area for their cooperation.
The communities include Ossah, Umuoriehi, Mgbaja and Amankwo, all traversed by the road leading from the “Tower of Peace” along Umuahia axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway to Okpara Square inside the capital city.
The Deputy Governor Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu, the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon. Austin Nmeregini, Members of the State Executive Council, President Vision Africa Radio, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Traditional Rulers of Ossah Ibeku and others witnessed the road flag off.