*says, seek approval
By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
A construction company allegedly hired by a federal lawmaker to rehabilitate the Nnewi –Ozubulu –Okija Federal Road in Anambra State was on Friday ordered to discontinue work in the area.
The Federal Ministry of Works handed out the order in Awka insisting that an official permission must be given to any individual or state that wants to work on any federal road before such project can be done.
The order came on the heels of an enquiry made by the Anambra State Ministry of Works through the Federal Controller of Works in the state on whether he gave an approval for the road rehabilitation.
The controller had said that neither the office of the Federal Controller of Works, Anambra State or the Honorable Minister of Works was aware of the project nor did it grant any approval for work to be carried out on any highways in Anambra State.
In a letter dated 4th November, 2020, Mr. Ezeala Chidi of the Federal Ministry of Works said: “It has been brought to our notice that your construction company, Toshel Construction Limited, is presently carrying out some palliative works on the above named road.
“We appreciate your good intentions in assisting to put our road in good state. However, we advise you to follow all necessary due processes required to enable you work on any Federal Highway;
“This shall enable you obtain all relevant approvals and conditions required to work on Federal Highway.
“In view of the above, you are requested to stop all your construction activities on any Federal Highways in Anambra State until you are granted approvals to do so.”
Addressing journalists in Awka, the Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Marcel Ifejiofor stressed that for any state to work on a federal road in its area, it must obtain a written permission from the Minister of Woks.
He added, “it is the minister that gives the specification and standard of the construction, which means that the minister’s representative who is the controller of works must supervise it.
“Also, before Anambra State works on any federal road, it must obtain permission from the federal government before it starts. Similarly, before anybody works on the state road, it must obtain permission from the state government through the state ministry of works and our engineers have to supervise it because all our roads have a standard which must be met.
“If anybody wants to do any road in any community, it must involve the traditional ruler and the president general who will then inform the ministry of works.
“When I learnt that a contractor was working on a road in Nnewi, I sent the director of highways who confirmed that it was on a federal road. We had to write to the state controller of works who said he was not aware of such a project.
“He then said he would order that work should stop until there was a letter from the minister of works. The minister then wrote the contractor to stop work.
While saying that people are encouraged to work on the road, Ifejiofor insisted that such gesture should have an approval adding, “We are not angry that someone is working on our road, but an approval must be brought.
“It is the Minister that gives the specification and standard of the construction, which means that the minister’s representative who is the controller of works must supervise it.”