Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Thursday, inaugurated the newly asphalted 22.443km Neke-Mbu-Ogbodu Abba-Obollo Etti road which was awarded under the Phase one roads of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP-2) in the state.
Inaugurating the all-important rural road which connects Isi-Uzo and Udenu Local Government Areas of the state, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that the project was in line with his administration’s rural development agenda, stressing that it will ease “the movement of goods and persons while advancing our administration’s rural connectivity and integrated development strategy”.
The governor revealed that two collapsed Bailey bridges were also reconstructed as part of the road project, adding that “this 22.443km road received asphaltic concrete surfacing along its entire length representing a pioneering instance of asphaltic concreting of RAMP-2 roads since the programme’s inception in Nigeria”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed gratitude to the World Bank and French Development Agency (AFD) for yielding to his administration’s persuasion for the novelty in asphalting of RAMP-2 roads in the country.
The governor therefore tasked the beneficiary communities to “take ownership of this critical infrastructure, protect it and optimize its utilitarian value”, stressing that “Our administration is committed to the establishment of Enugu State Rural Road Maintenance Agency for enhancement of the durability and serviceability of rural road infrastructure while we desirably strive to participate in the RAMP-2 successor Project, the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), for consolidation of the gains made in RAMP-2”.
Earlier in his speech, the National Coordinator for Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) and Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU), Abuja, Engr. Aminu Bodinga Mohammed, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his administration’s performance of Enugu RAMP-2 “that has successfully constructed a total of 417.682km rural roads against the set target of 370km”.
Engr. Mohammed who noted that “this laudable achievement is quite commendable”, pointed out that the administration of Gov. Ugwuanyi, which paid its counterpart funds, “was also able to construct a total of 23 nos. River Crossings against the set target of 16”.
According to him, “the achievement of the state (Enugu) cannot be over emphasized, most especially the completion of about 270km of roads within 11 months.
“Let me also congratulate the State Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) team under the able leadership of Engr. Chinedu Ugwu for a work well done in Enugu State. I urge the state to keep up the good works”.
In their remarks, the State Project Coordinator for Enugu RAMP-2, Engr. Ugwu and the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for his commitment to the success of RAMP projects in the state, in spite of the state’s lean resources as a result of the nation’s economic challenges.
The State Project Coordinator said that RAMP-2 has constructed over 418 rural roads, several bridges and culverts in the state.
The Works Commissioner stated that the state government paid all the required counterpart funds for the construction of the RAMP projects, despite the nation’s economic challenges.
In their goodwill messages, the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, the Chairman, State Assembly House Committee on Works, Rt. Hon. Chima Obieze, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, Chairman of Udenu LGA and the State Chairman of ALGON, Hon. Solomon Onah, his Isi-Uzo counterpart, Hon. Jacob Abonyi, indigenes of the two council areas, appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for his sustained commitment to rural development, maintaining they never imagined that a state government could intervene on the road which was hitherto in a deplorable state and brought untoward pains to the people of the area.