The Federal Government has approved the total sum of One Hundred and Eighty-Five Billion Naira, (N185bn) for the Construction as well as the dualization of Itu/ Calabar highway.
The Federal road which links Akwa Ibom and Cross River States has been in a deplorable state for over a decade subjecting commuters to severe suffering and risk and economic loss for the state.
The road project was awarded to Julius Berger at N54b, CCECC at N52.2b and SEMATECH at N79b.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Mohammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang who disclosed this on Wednesday while inspecting the progress of work at the road commended the president for his benevolence in sourcing for funds for the construction of the road.
Enang explained that out of the over N600 billion raised from the tax credit window granted by Federal inland revenue service to NNPC to fund critical infrastructure, mainly roads, Akwa Ibom/Calabar road project was given N185 billion.
He said Ikot Ekpene with Spurs in Ididep- Ibiono Ibom to Mbak Ekid Itam in Itu has been awarded to CCECC, a section from Mbak Itam to Oku Iboku Junction, to Julius Berger, from Oku Iboku Junction to Ikot Nyong by Power Plant in Odukpani, Cross River State, awarded to Sermatech and from Power Plant to Odukpani Junction, is still awarded to Julius Berger
The president’s Aide who attributed the delay in the construction of the road to lack of funds assured the people that the project would be completed with dualized carriage by April 2023 since the funds have been made available while urging the people to be patient and cooperative with contractors handling the project.
His words, “We have been having problems of getting funding for the road, but Mr President has asked me to assure you that we have raised money from the tax credit window off federal inland revenue service to the NNPC to fund critical infrastructure mainly road infrastructure.
“Out of the over N600 billion raised from NNPC as a tax credit, a great part that is N185bn has been dedicated to this road. The road was awarded in three tranches. The first money that was available was N54bn and was for Julius Berger, N52bn to CCECC and the last N79B to SEMATECH engineering.
“This road was designed for dualization since 1972 and only one lane of the four lanes was constructed believing that others would be constructed since then. Thank God, President Mohammadu Buhari has started constructing other lanes with four bridges and he has promised to complete it within the time frame.”