Governor Alex Otti of Abia says that the state has reached an agreement with the federal government to jointly rehabilitate federal roads in the state.
Mr Otti said this on Saturday at the Government House, Umuahia, during a media parley organised by the state government to brief journalists on the achievements of the present administration since its inception.
The governor said plans were underway to commence the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt and Ohanku Roads in Aba.
He said that the state government is working closely with the federal government to reconstruct the Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia Roads and other federal roads in the state.
He said the state government had commenced palliative work on Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road to put an end to the hardship experienced by motorists on the road.
“We are working closely with the Federal Government to ensure that these roads are maintained and rebuilt so that the bad name that we get from those roads will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Mr Otti said that the decision to embark on the Ossah-Mission Hill Road expansion project was informed by the desire to open up the state for economic development.
He said that 130 buildings had been marked for demolition, and the payment of compensation to people whose buildings were affected by the ongoing exercise was in progress.
“The last time I checked, the total amount of money for compensation was about N771 million, and that has already been paid.
“Some people have not received theirs because of the discrepancies in the account details they provided.
“Some others have not received it because of family contention about whose account would be used to receive the money,” he said.
At Abia Innovation Industrial Park, Mr Otti said that the government would harness the oil and gas reserves in Owaza in the Ukwa West Local Government Area to change the fortunes of the people of Owaza and the state at large.
He said that there would be monetary compensation for the owners of the land on which the park would be sited, and he added that they would be given employment opportunities.
Mr Otti said that the commitment of the state government towards boosting local content remains strong, hence the resolve to build an industrial park.
He said that the host community had been neglected in the past and added that the present administration is poised to change the narrative.
He said that during the groundbreaking ceremony of the industrial park, the people expressed happiness over the recent development as it had given them a sense of belonging.
“If you were present there today during the groundbreaking ceremony, you would sympathise with the people that live there, because it is very sad that the place where oil also comes from in the state is in that state.
“A community that makes us be addressed as an oil-producing state, it is not fair to leave them in the state they are, and that is why they trooped out in their numbers to receive us,” Mr Otti added.