The President Bola Tinubu-led administration has approved the sum of one billion Naira (N1bn) to kick start the reconstruction of the road connecting Ebonyi and Benue states to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja in 2024.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Chief of Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Onyekachi Nwebonyi while celebrating 2023 Christmas with then executives of the All Progressives Congress, APC and his constituents at his Abakaliki residence on Monday.
Senator Nwebonyi who is representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said the Federal Government’s approval for the construction of the road was captured in the 2024 appropriation bill.
He recalled that the road was opened in 1954 by the colonial administration in Nigeria but its deplorable condition made him champion its reconstruction on concrete pavement.
According to him, the magic behind the Federal government’s approval was the Grace of God and an opportunity properly utilised, because that road is the shortest route connecting Southern and Northern Nigeria.
“This means that if that road is constructed, you spend less than 4 hours to reach Abuja unlike other roads, you will spend about 8 hours before you reach Abuja.
“As I came on board, it was an opportunity for me to let our people know about that road which by the grace of God, the government listened and it had been captured. And As I speak to you, one Billion Naira has been appropriated to kick-start work on that road.”
He commended the former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator David Nweze Umahi and his Predecessor, Chief Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru for their contributions towards the facilitation of the construction of the road.
“I also believe that with the help of the Honourable Minister of Works, my father His Excellency Engr David Nweze Umahi and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Rt Hon Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru who took this road as his priority.
“The Governor specifically wrote to the presidency saying that what the Senator (Nwebonyi) is saying will improve the economy of not only Ebonyi and Benue States but the entire country.
“We also give glory to God for the peaceful coexistence between the Ebonyi people and our neighbouring states. I must commend the member representing Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constituency, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu who spearheaded the movement for the peaceful coexistence between Ngbo and Agila people.
“The party is the pillar of the seat of power and I have been the state chairman of a party in the state, and that’s why I’m seeing the party executives before any other person for this Christmas celebration.
“I have attracted eight federal jobs within five months in office as a Senator. Some NDLEA, Immigration, National Bureau of Statistics, and what have you and we are still counting. We are assuring our people of effective representation.
“As I said earlier we have in the 2024 appropriation, over 10 kilometres of roads and I’m going to scatter them within Ebonyi North Senatorial District.
“You can agree with me there is no Senator that has attracted more than 2 kilometres of road. And these roads, I have attracted are going be constructed on concrete pavement that will last over 100 years.