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Ohanaeze, Soludo back Umahi’s concrete road plans




This is as the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Saturday, backed the move by the Minister of Works and Housing, Chief Dave Umahi to dump asphalt for concrete technology in road construction.

The apex socio-political body of the Ndigbo community urged the Presidency not to wait till a supplementary budget was passed before the ministry began work during the forthcoming dry season.

Suggesting that lack of funds should not hinder the ministry, they suggested that the ministry can be alternatively funded through other sources.

In an official statement released by its Secretary-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the body underlined the paramount importance of developing robust and durable road infrastructure on a nationwide scale and stressed that Umahi’s appointment by President Tinubu was a judicious match of talent to task, akin to placing a square peg in a square hole.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo wishes to appeal to the President to ensure the immediate release of funds through a special purpose vehicle to the ministry, to ensure that the Ministry’s plan of embarking on large-scale road rehabilitation during the forthcoming dry season is not hindered by a lack of funds.

“We are aware of the fact that most ministers presently face paucity of funds since their predecessors left virtually nothing behind from the 2023 budget passed under Buhari.

“Infrastructural development is a key driver of economic growth and development due to its multiplier effect across all sectors of Nigerian society, especially with regards to cushioning the dire effects of subsidy removal.

“Instead of waiting till a supplementary budget is passed, the Ministry of Works can be immediately funded through other sources, such as funding from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited.”

The PUNCH reports that Umahi has consistently expressed his dedication and enthusiasm for constructing concrete roads during his visits to various regions of the country since taking office as a minister.

Meanwhile, Soludo is also backing the move of the minister on concrete road construction.

Soludo noted that the use of concrete technology is the ‘current standard for road construction.’

This former CBN governor lauded President Tinubu for giving the South-East juicy ministerial portfolios despite recording low votes in the region during the 2023 presidential elections.

He stated this when Umahi paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka on Saturday.

He said, “In politics, you don’t get what you deserve but what you bargain for with votes. Given the totality of the votes we contributed from the South-East and looking at the ministerial portfolios, we may not have the basis to begin to demand “juicy” portfolios, but the President graciously gave us one of our finest and best, one of the few engineers who pioneered concrete pavement as the current standard for road construction.

“Nigeria is a federation. You cannot stay in your state, clap with one hand, and expect noise. You need the other hand which is the Federal Government, for things to work.

“With you, Umahi in office, you are a perfect round peg in a round hole. Please keep showing your leadership.”

Soludo noted that all federal roads in Anambra State had failed and needed the attention of the Federal Government.

Speaking earlier, Umahi bemoaned the challenges posed by erosion in Anambra State.

The Minister said the basic reason for the failure of the road was due to asphalt, stating that the introduction of concrete pavement would be the best because of poor maintenance culture.