Brig.-Gen. Murtala Abu, the garrison commander of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, has lauded the federal government and MTN for funding the reconstruction of the Enugu-Onitsha dual Carriageway.
Mr Abu made the commendation in Enugu on Thursday during a meeting with MTN/Crown Crest Global Engineers (CCGE), Community Liaison Initiative (CLI) team led by the chairman, Chris Okoye.
The commander praised the government for coming up with such a novel scheme of introducing smart road infrastructure and thanked MTN for its commitment to supporting and delivering a world-standard road for the good of Nigerians.
He said the challenges with a smart road included indiscipline by road users and not having enough vehicles for patrols.
The commander added that roadblocks were tactically located in areas prone to armed robbery and kidnapping.
Mr Abu, however, assured the MTN/CCGE-CLI team that their suggestions on the smart road and the role of security agencies would be further examined so that the best option could be adopted.
He advised the MTN/ CCGE-CLI team to partner with the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps to reduce the number of road checkpoints. He urged them also to ask the state government to support them with patrol vehicles.
The garrison commander said, “A joint security meeting with all the security outfits and the construction companies to discuss the location of the CCTVs and how to ensure that the road remains smart would be the sure way to go.
“I will also appeal that the road be constructed to make room for future expansion into a four-lane expressway due to the growth and development of the South-East and the importance of this particular highway.”
Mr Okoye said the 107km Enugu–Onitsha Dual Carriageway would be a full option smart road when completed.
He explained that MTN was funding the construction through the federal government’s novel Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS).
Mr Okoye said MTN/CCGE-CLI was focused on ensuring that the Highway remained beneficial to all stakeholders along the road corridor, and “MTN/CCGE-CLI is committed to working with the Nigerian Army to create a synergy on security on the road.”