Some motorists in Edo on Tuesday commended the Federal government for the reconstruction of the Benin-Okene road
The road is a major arterial road that links the southern parts of the country with Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, and other states in the North.
Sunny Omiawele, a driver who spoke at Ekpoma, Section III (Auchi-Ehor) Dualisation Part of the Benin-Lokoja road, said that the road had become impassable for almost three years.
Omiawele said: “This place we are standing now used to be very bad; there were large potholes on the road.
“Vehicles used to spend about four hours just to get to the town. Articulated trucks used to spend almost four days to leave this spot.”
Omiawele commended the Federal Government for the road project, describing it as one of the dividends of democracy.
Ali Garuba, a driver of an articulated truck, recalled that some failed portions of the road were regular spots for armed robbers, particularly at night.
Garuba said: “We had not been sleeping well in this community because of the criminal activities which took place at these bad portions of the Benin-Okene road.”
“Last December, the Federal Government came to our rescue and today, we drive freely and sleep well at night.”
Another motorist, Paul Inegbenose, who spoke on the rehabilitation of Ewu-Agbor road, said that prior to the road repairs, a journey from Uromi to Agbor used to take about three hours.
He, however, urged the government to construct drainage channels for all the roads so as to prevent their destruction by erosion.
Oke Oweh, the Controller of Works, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, in Edo told newsmen that reconstruction works were carried out on the Auchi-Ehor axis of the Abuja-Lokoja-Benin road.
Oweh said: “The road is a two-lane carriageway. The dualisation of the road in Section III commenced at Auchi and passed through Aviele, Egono, Agbede, Ihua/Jagbe, Ewu, Irrua and Ekpoma communities.”
According to him, Section II (Okene-Auchi), which covers 26 kilometres, is 41.09-per-cent completed, while, Section III (Auchi-Ehor), which covers about 54.2km, is 10.42-per-cent completed.
Oweh noted that the Agbor-Ewu road was a major road linking the south-eastern states of the country.
He said that the project, which covered a distance of 75.10 km, was about 10.1-per-cent completed.
The controller pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to the construction and rehabilitation of roads across the country.
He said that with improved funding from the SUKUK Fund, more funds had been released to the various contractors that were handling the road projects.