The roads include the 23.7km Hilltop- Nwofe and the 15.5km Nkalagu/Ehamufu Roads awarded to China Zunghaoi Limited as well as the 23.5 km Amasiri/Okposi/Uburu Road awarded to CONROCK Nigeria Limited.
Governor Umahi informed the people who gathered at the Hilltop Field in Abakaliki that the commencement of work on the Hilltop-Nwofe Road was a dream fulfilled.
He added that the reconstruction of the road was underscored by the overwhelming support and solidarity he received from Izzi people during the governorship election.
Recalling that the road had suffered many years of neglect, he noted that his decision to award the contract was also informed by the massive support from the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, who is an Izzi man.
The Governor, who directed that work must go on simultaneously from the two ends of the road, directed that three civil engineers from the local government areas where the road traversed must be part of the teams that would supervise the construction of the roads.
According to him, the engineers would garner more experience from the contractors to enable them to benefit from projects that would be awarded in future by his administration.
At Nkalagu, the Governor described the Nkalagu-Ehamufu Road which last received government’s attention almost six decades ago as not only important to Ebonyi State but also to the entire Igbo race.
He revealed that negotiation had reached advanced stage for Ibeto Cement Company to take over and revitalise NIGERCEM Cement Factory in Nkalagu to regain its glory.
“By inaugurating the road construction, it is no longer hidden that Ibeto would revitalise NIGERCEM. We must have concluded with Ibeto to ensure that the rights of our communities, local and state governments are protected,” he added.
At Amasiri Junction where he described the gathering as being akin to a political rally, the governor announced plans to construct Effium-Agba-Ohoffia Road, Ntezi-Isu Road and Ebwona Road next year.
He said the Amasiri-Okposi-Uburu Road was important because it also links Ebonyi State with Enugu State.
Governor Umahi directed local government chairmen and coordinators of development centres whose areas are linked to the roads to monitor the progress of work by the contractors.
He said: “There is no project started by this administration that will be stopped. They have their money. Where our money stopped, they continue with their money and we will be paying. It is in the agreement. I will give you a road built on concrete that will last for 50 years.”
The Commissioner for Works, Mr. Fidelis Nweze, observed that the Hilltop-Nwofe Road had never received attention since the inception of old Eastern Region.
Meanwhile, progress is being recorded on the Abakaliki-Afikpo Road. This followed the outcry from road users who ply the federal road. (The Nation)