January 10, (THEWILL) – Some commuters plying federal roads in Cross River State have reacted to the ongoing yuletide palliative works being conducted by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
The palliative works are five kilometres rehabilitation of some fixed bad spots along the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-Gakim Road as well as the Ediba Junction-Itigidi-Abomege Road.
The total length of the palliative works is about five kilometres.
While bad spots on the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-Gakim comprise three kilometres, the Ediba Junction-Itigidi-Abomege Road comprises about 2.2 kilometres.
Some of the bad spots where the rehabilitation is taking place include the Okomita axis of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-Gakim road, where kidnappers usually capitalised on the poor state of the spot to kidnap people.
Other spots are the Uyanga Axis, Ekure, Ugep Axis and Ekureku 2.
ThankGod Okoi, a commercial motorcyclist from Ugep, in his reaction, said the ongoing rehabilitation has helped in reducing transport fares by over 35%.
He said, “the section of the road is very okay, particularly from Ugep here to Okunni, the road is now express.
“Before now, because of the poor quality of the road, passengers paid higher fares. Before now, from Ugep to Akpet, we charged eight hundred naira but now, because the road is fine, we charge five hundred naira,” he said.
On his part, Ofem Otu Eteng said the frequency at which they visited workshops has reduced and their vehicles, particularly brake pads, last a bit longer.
“The road now makes our vehicle last because when the road was bad we visited the workshop too frequently.
“Now, since they have worked the road, our vehicle now lasts and when we change the brake pad, we can use it for a month or two before we change it,” he said.
Jelly Bassey, a petty trader, who sells groundnuts, apples and other snacks around the Ediba Junction section of the road, said, “I feel okay with this road because it is good and makes people come out more to buy.
“Before now, the road was not too good for commuters, some will say the dust is too much and the road is not fine but now, it’s okay.
“More people now come out to do their business and because of this, there is a positive improvement in my business,” she said.
Also speaking, Innocent Eni, a commuter from Abi, said, “we have suffered so much in Cross River State about accessible roads but with the intervention of the Federal government, we feel so happy.
“From now, it can take you less than two hours to reach Ikom from Ugep here and we are praying that they should make efforts that the road should terminate at Odukpani junction so that we can have more access roads like other states.
“We really thank the Federal government for this intervention and we are grateful to the Buhari-led administration.
“Before the intervention, the road was terrible. Sometimes when you think of travelling you feel reluctant to go and sometimes, you are travelling vehicle break down so often on the road because of the bad portion of the road and there are always accidents here and there with kidnapping on the increase.
“So, we are very happy with this intervention and I must really commend the President Buhari-led administration for this,” he said.
Engr Koya Kehinde, the Federal Controller for Works in Cross River State, said the essence of the palliative, which was awarded late last year, was to ease vehicular movement in some bad spots while the main construction continues.
About the Author
THEWILL Correspondent, Aniekan Bassey has over six years experience that spans across several fields in print journalism including development communication, sexual reproductive and health rights issues, crime, climate change, social justice, business and human interest stories.