The Nigerian Senate
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BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Senate has demanded that as a matter of economic emergency, Construction giants, Julius Berger must resume the rehabilitation work and finalization of the Calabar–Itu Federal highway maintenance.

This is even as the upper legislative chamber held a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives on the Ocean pathway of Calabar and Oron in both Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. 

According to the Senate, it has become imperative for the executive arm of government to commit the contractors on speedy completion of work on the highway.

In a motion sponsored by Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River Central), the Senate said the executive must fully fund the highway’s dualization to accelerate commitment on the path of Julius Berger and ensure speedy completion of the project.

Senator Onor noted that the highway project, significant to the economy of South-South and South-East States, was awarded to Julius Berger by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in 2017, but has regrettably been abandoned for months, thereby causing heavy gridlock and untold hardship for commuters. 

The lawmaker said the current situation is made worst because almost all retail and commercial purchases for the Cross River market come from Onitsha, Aba and Port Harcourt through the same route.

He said; “The entire South-South and South-East States depend substantially on Cross-River State for the purchase of quality chippings for roads, buildings and other forms of construction activities.

“This gridlock has therefore undeniably locked down critical economic activities in all the aforementioned states, thereby creating terrible economic downturn with obviously devastating consequences on the citizenry.”

Senator Onoh however warned that given the road’s deteriorating state, if not quickly handled and fixed, it would not only escalate the level of poverty, but also worsen the already alarming security situation around the two states of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.


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