The Federal Government on Wednesday approved N51.4 billion for the dualisation of the Odukpani Itu-Ikot Ekpene route linking Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
This is even as the government gave approval for the engagement of Messers Luftansa consulting and others as transaction advisors for the establishment of national carriers amongst others as part of implementing the aviation roadmap. The engagement of the advisors will cost the government N1.5 billion.
Babatunde Fashola, along side the ministers of information and culture, Lai Mohammed; State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika; and Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting chaired by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo. Fashola said the award of contract for the road project came following a memo submitted by his ministry.
The road which is in a dire state was constructed 40 years, he revealed.
The lone memorandum submitted by the ministry, was for the award of the Odukpani Itu-Ikot Ekpene route linking Akwa Ibom and Cross River states with a spur to Ibede Itan, the road project was approved for award to messrs Julius Berger Plc, he said.
According to him, it is a hope of the government that the “problems that have been associated with that road which was constructed for well over 40 years ago which has outgrown its design life and also its design capacity those problems will now be frontally responded to by the award of this contract we will do the best to quickly mobilise the contractor to site with the onset of the rainy season and am sure that by this time next year, it will be a better story a better journey
time experience in that area of the country” .
Sirika who spoke on the engagement of the advisors said the first step to implementing the aviation roadmap is to appoint a transaction adviser who will give advisory services and kick start and lead the process.
“Today in Council we took the memo for the appointment of those transaction advisers to carry out the advisory services on establishment of national carriers, establishment of aviation leasing company and establishment of maintenance repair and overhaul centre, the establishment of aerotropolis or airport city as you may call it and of course the concession of our airports.
“It was considered and all of them were divided into six groupings, Messrs Lufthansa consulting/ TN Aero FGE was appointed as transaction advisors for the national carrier,” he said.
Messrs Arrow was appointed as advisor for the aviation leasing company and MRO, Messrs Infrata Dantens was appointed advisors for the concession of airports, while Messrs JBB was appointed as transaction advisors for the establishment of aerotropolis and agro cargo terminals.
“All of these were at different amount but the total sum was N1.524,492,863.62 council had graciously approved, these will signal the kick start of all of these activities within the industry of transportation and aviation,” the minister said.
Council also gave approval for the verification of the diary irrigation which is a 2300 hectare irrigation project in Kano and Jigawa states. According to the minister of water resources, the project which started during the PTF days in 1998 and attained 50% completion when the PTF winded up. It is has been abandoned for almost 20 years.
“We have to do a more detailed analysis of the scope of work to know how much work is needed to complete the project and how much it will cost. This first one is for a consultant. there is already a provision in the 2016 budget and it has also been included in the 2017 budget. We are hoping that by the time they finish this project we will be able to come back to council for approval to continue,” Adamu said.
Meanwhile the Presidential Liaison to the Senate, Ita Enang reacted to the approval of the Odupkani- Ikpotekpene road saying the Akwa Ibom people will pay a thank you visit to the President for approving the project which they have agonised over for about 15 years.
Enang added that the road is a strategic route for the South South and South East through where food and construction materials pass and the project will also provide employment for the youth.