Top vicars in the Methodist Church and Brotherhood of the Cross and Star in Cross River State have on different occasions called on federal government to partner private entities to help reconstruct the Calabar-Itu federal highway as well as other terribly dilapidated Trunk A roads in the country.
Head of Calabar-Oron diocese of the Methodist Church, Archbishop Emmanuel Udofia and the deputy Dean of BCS College of Bishops, Archbishop Nwenekorum Boms said the sorry state of the Calabar-Itu federal highway has caused loss of man-hours, uncountable deaths, and destruction of vehicles and blocked passage of farm yields, goods and services to other parts of the country thereby compounding hardships.
Boms said the partnership will help the government tremendously to concentrate in other critical sectors requiring funds.
“Private partnership in road construction is what is trending in many civilized countries. I am most certain that very rich individuals and bigger firms will jump at it if federal government invited them to intervene to fix the damages roads. This will greatly alleviate the sufferings, toils and losses many are going through every day on the Calabar-Itu highway and other highways in Nigeria.
“On completion, depending on agreements, the private firms can collect then collect tolls to recoup their expenses,” he said.
He said he was tired of hearing that federal government has awarded contracts to fix the road which never happens.
On his part, the head of the Methodist Church in Calabar, Udofia impressed on government to intervene urgently and save the people they were voted in to serve by partnering with private firms.
“The suffering on the highway is unmentionable. I wish the government people can also travel on the road to realize the gravity of the dilapidation. Not many can afford luxury of air travels these days,” he said.
Reacting, the commissioner for works in the state, Engr Dane Osim-Asu said they have mounted tremendous pressure on the both the federal controller of works in he state as well as the minister of works, which are now yielding results.
He advised the people to be patient as work has commenced on the said road.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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