The federal government has expressed satisfaction with the speedy manner Julius Berger Nigeria Plc is executing the contract for the construction of the Itu-Odukpani-Calabar Road.
Through the director of Federal Highways (South-South zone) in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engr. Godwin Eke, the government described as impressive the commitment and operational speed displayed by Julius Berger in the construction of the road.
Eke made the observation at Nkim Itam at the Akwa Ibom State end of the road when he recently led the media on an inspection tour of the ongoing construction works at the project site.
In a statement made available to journalists yesterday, Julius Berger quoted Eke as saying: "I am very impressed with the contractor's work. Though there were lots of issues of compensation and relocation on the right-of-way, Julius Berger's speed of work and its total commitment to project delivery is clearly reflected in the high level construction activities that you (the media) and our team can see before us. We are impressed."
He said that the Calabar-Odukpani-ltu-lkot Ekpene road is a major artery (Trunk A) federal road linking towns out of the Cross River State capital through Ugep-Ogoja- Kastina Ala to the Northeast and North Central geo-political zones and also connects Akwa lbom State towns onwards to Southeast and other regions.
On why the federal government is upgrading and expanding the road, Eke said that its dualisation is strategically planned by the government to resolve the traffic issues of the critical road corridor.
This, according to him, shall include the reduction of both travel time to the barest minimum and the number of accidents on the road.
The project is also intended to give the communities better access to greater economic activities, he said.
Eke commend the healthy collaboration between the federal government and the Akwa Ibom State government, especially on the resolution of issues of the right-of-way for the project.
The federal controller of Works in Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Nkereuwem Ukpong, said that the right-of-way was not initially free.
He said that the houses enumeration consultant had to do its job and then pay compensation for the houses on the right-of-way before the demolition of the structures in order to allow Julius Berger free space to work. As at now, the compensation for the stretch of 4.3kms has been paid. The relocation of the electricity poles is now being carried out to allow the contractor access to the site.
Asked on his impression of the contractor's pace of work, the controller said that "it is excellent and on schedule".
Julius Berger project coordinator in Uyo, Mrs. Ndifreke Ukochio, who led the company's team to receive Eke and the media at the site, promised that the project would be delivered with the consistent Julius Berger work tradition of always meeting obligations to its clients.