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Updated: South East governors meet Buhari, seek faster action on infrastructure

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Governors of the South East on Wednesday meet with President Muhammmadu Buhari , with a request on the President to help fast tract infrastructure development in the region.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Governor Dave Umahi called on the President to fast tract action on the 2nd Niger bridge by paying 50% of the cost of construction and secure the balance 50% in bond

“We have come to ask Mr. President to see if there any way governance can pay 50% of the total sum and secure the other 50% in bond so that we can sleep with our two eyes closed and be assured that the job will not be abandoned. We also pleaded that the construction period be reduced from 42 to 24 months so that, knowing the pedigree of Julius Berger”

President Buhari had earlier announced the award of the 2nd Niger bridge to Julius Berger in the sum of N206b, while N7b has been paid as mobilization fee.

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The Governors also pleaded with the President to prevail on the contractors to fast tract the construction period by reducing it from 42 to 24 months so that the job can be completed on time.

The Governors also pleaded with the President to commission the Enyiimba, Aba free zone project as well as the extension of the gas supply project to the region.

“We talked about the Enugu International airport and pleaded that he deploy the cargoes section of the airport. They need to rebuild the run way the lights are not functioning at all and we feel government need to do something about the,.

“We reminded him that the slow pace of the Enugu to Port harcourt road was due to the rains. Now that the rains are over, the contractors are complaining about low funding. So we reminded him to release more funds so that the work can move faster.

They also pleaded with President over Geometric Power Plant in Aba, to assist in resolving the issues around the plant so that the plant can be deployed to provide power to the industrial clusters of Aba and the environs.

“We also reminded him that the Enugu state government has done a lot in relocation of major infrastructure obstructing the smooth operation of flights and we requested that federal government take over the compensation of affected lands so that the airport can be extended.

“We demanded that gas distribution be linked to the five south east states and the industrial clusters so as to boost economic activities in the area.

“We also pleaded with the Federal government to award rail lines just as they are do8ng on the western corridor.

“We requested that the contract be awarded to cover port harcourt to Aba, Ebonyi, the Enugu and then to Maiduguri , so that we can benefit from these projects

Umahi noted that the President assured the Governors that he is going to look into the issues
“ Of course on the railway, we were given a cheering news that not only that the railway will be awarded that it will touch all states capitals in south east and it will also touch most of other state capitals as it move from south east to Maiduguri.

“ There will also be a port that will be added to it and it will cost about $12 billion. He said they are yet to bring it to federal executive council meeting, so they intend to do so and of course with the borrowing plan being approved by the senate, they are going to fastrack the issue of construction in the south east” he said

Speaking on behalf of the federal government, the Secretary to the goof the federation, Boss Mustapha, said the President has promised to ensure that all the projects receive prompt attention.

Mustapha also called on people of the South East to support the President’s re-election bid as such votes will motivate the President to attract more projects to the region in 2019.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, and Deputy Governor of Anambra, Nkomo Okeke,

On the government team were the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Public Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnanya Onu, Minister Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelama, as well as Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

Source: Tony Ailemen

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