At last, work on deplorable Calabar-Itu Road repairs has begun. The cost is N56b. Contract on the road was awarded to Julius Berger.
The company has started construction in Odukpani and Ibiono axis of the highway in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states, as compensation has been paid to affected persons. At the Odukpani axis, houses and economic trees, which compensation had been paid, were bulldozed to give way for the road that has been a nightmare to motorists and commuters.
The Chairman Senate Committee, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Senator Gershom Bassey, who disclosed this in Calabar, expressed satisfaction, saying: “We had been promised work by the executive and work has started.
“We urge all the contractors working on this very important road to mobilise fully to site and stay there till the work is completed. Thank you to all the road users for their patience. As legislators, we will continue to speak loudly for our state and our constituents and ensure that we always get our due”. Motorists on the road expressed excitement with the commencement of work, saying: “For over 15 years, we have been suffering. We are happy.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government had begun payment of compensation to affected communities. Already six affected communities on the Odukpani axis in Cross River affected by the dualisation have received compensation for structures and economic trees.
A spokesman for the recipients, Mr. Ekpeyong Akiba Ekpenyong confirmed that the consultants for the project, Chika Egwatu and partners, on behalf of Julius Barger Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Works had concluded the first phase of the payment conducted in the Calabar Municipality Council Hall.