The deplorable state of federal roads in the South East zone attracted the attention of the Senate on Tuesday. The Upper Chamber asked the Executive arm of government to check the situation immediately and fix the road.
As a first step, the lawmakers asked the Executive to commence the rehabilitation of the Onitsha-Enugu dual carriage way to save commuters from the tragic experiences they go through on the road.
The Senate mandated its Committee on Works to visit the zone to ascertain the level of disrepair on the road, with a view to making recommendations on it.
The Upper Chamber’s resolutions were at the instance of a motion moved by Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North).
Egwu lamented the dilapidated state and total collapse of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway which he described as a death trap to motorists.
He said before its deplorable condition, a journey on the road normally took about one hour from Onitsha in Anambra State to Enugu, but lamented that it now takes over five tortuous hours to pass through.
Egwu further said that the bad shape of the road had exposed many travellers to avoidable hazards with many falling victims of armed robbery attacks while others have died or lost their property. He noted that the collapse of the road had cut off the South Eastern states from other parts of the country – with serious negative impacts on trade and commerce.
The lawmaker, who served as governor of Ebonyi State, noted that promises from past administrations to rehabilitate the road have yielded no result. He recalled that efforts made by former President Goodluck Jonathan to fix the road before the 2015 general elections failed as the contractors immediately abandoned their sites.
Senator Egwu further said that the collapse of the road has led to a decline in agriculture and economic activities as the movement of farm produce and construction materials within and outside the region has been adversely affected.
Egwu declared that the lifespan of the road had expired and that heavy vehicular movement on it, coupled with years of neglect, had accelerated its collapse.
According to him, commuters who resorted to using the old road enjoyed a brief reprieve as the road later collapsed and became inaccessible.
In their contributions to the motion, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Senators from the South East zone appealed to the Federal Government to do a holistic rehabilitation of federal roads in Igboland to save the people from being cut off from the rest of Nigeria.
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