The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has decried the poor state of federal roads in the South-East geopolitical zone, especially in Anambra and Ebonyi states.
Mr Umahi made his feelings known during a courtesy call to the Anambra Governor, Charles Soludo, on Saturday night in Awka.
The Minister said Anambra and Ebonyi were competing for the worst in terms of poor federal road projects in the country.
He said that he had recently visited Imo, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi states before coming to Anambra, saying that the situation is the same on the state of federal roads.
Mr Umahi, who before meeting Mr Soludo, had inspected Enugu-bound lane of the Onitsha/Enugu expressway, passed a vote of no confidence on the consultants supervising the reconstruction of the road.
He regretted that the handlers of the very busy road were exposing road users to untold hardship.
“I am a bit disappointed with the state of Enugu/Onitsha expressway; I have called both the contractors and consultants to a meeting this evening with the Governor.
“I have equally passed a vote of no confidence on the consultants,” he said.
He directed the firm to immediately rehabilitate the bad spots, which have caused vehicles to fall and other sundry hiccups on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway.
The Minister said he was personally concerned due to a series of calls and complaints coming from the same road.
“While MTN Nigeria says they have 100 per cent funding, the chairman of RCC construction firm, will say the opposite, complaining of funding problem.
“We will all meet and sort out these problems because we cannot have one or two contractors doing 200 kilometers of road for seven years,” he said.
Mr Umahi, who noted that states in the South-East geo-political zone were not fairly treated on MTN Nigeria Tax Credit decision, said he was confident that President Bola Tinubu would look into the matter in due course.
“Yes, Enugu and Abia states benefitted, but that cannot be compared with other zones which got on the MTN Nigeria Tax Credit sharing formula.
“I know as a man of justice and equity, President Bola Tinubu will look into the matter because development thrives on fairness and equity,” he said.
Responding, Governor Soludo said he was overwhelmed with joy when President Tinubu appointed Mr Umahi his minister of works.
“Umahi’s appointment is a prayer answered for me because it is like a perfect round peg in a round hole,” he said.
He regretted that the entire federal roads in Anambra were all bad, adding that urgent actions were needed to reduce the sufferings facing road users on the roads.
Mr Soludo, who appealed to the minister to replicate what he did on road construction in Ebonyi across the country, advocated for what he tagged mega-budget for road projects.
According to him, the initiative would encourage the National Assembly to make adequate budgetary provisions for road projects which have lasted more than four years.
He said when this is done, “government would no longer be required to talk about budgetary allocation on existing roads yearly, but would be spending on already approved fund to end problem of poor funding.”
Before the courtesy visit, Mr Umahi visited Enugu/Onitsha expressway, Oye-Oranto Ukpo road in Dunukofia, and Otuocha-Iheaka-Ibaji roads.