By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has expressed satisfaction with the speed of work at the on-going dualization of Tinapa-Odukpani Junction Federal road being undertaken by the state government.
Therefore, he has, urged the contractors to take advantage of the season to speed up the work in order to beat the deadline.
Ayade who commended the contractors for the seriousness with which the work was being approached disclosed that embarking on the dualization of the road which comes with a flyover by the state was purely a social service.
Speaking while inspecting progress of work on the 15km stretch road, he said”rhere is no chance of recouping the funds being used for the dualization of the road since it is a federal government road.
“The government at the centre is not ready to make any refund and yet the road cannot be tolled. So this is absolutely a social service, he added”.
According to him, “after years of pleading with the Federal government to give us the opportunity to reconstruct this road and for them to approve that they will refund the money, the federal government has insisted that if we have to do the road, it would be totally at the expense of the state as it was not ready to refund”.
Ayade said the number of deaths of motorists as man-hour loss by Cross River citizens along the road was an issue of concern to him, thus his decision to dualise the road.
Continuing, the governor explained that “as we speak today, Cross River has N25 billion in the hands of federal government from previous interventions, certified and approved for refund. These monies have been held up there, so we are in a situation where either you do it or your people die. We have taken a decision to do it at the cost that the state itself can’t even afford. So we are just working with the intellect to drive the process”.
According to the governor, “this is the only road that takes you into Calabar, there is no other road and for you to come into a dual carriage way into Calabar, it gives you the ambience and elegance”.
He further added that “the road therefore, is designed with a major median which is intended to provide green canopy cover for both sides with spaghetti flyover at Odukpani junction”.
He noted that “ordinarily for a diamond interchange, you really don’t need the level of such sophisticated flyover, but as a state, it is good to be the first state, so let Calabar also present to Nigeria first spaghetti flyover just like we have the first smart city and the first agro-tourism”.
By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar