Minister of Works Expresses Concern Over Gully Erosion in Anambra

Minister of Works Expresses Concern Over Gully Erosion in Anambra

By Charles Igwe

The Minister of Works, Chief David Umahi, expressed deep concern on Sunday as he witnessed the devastating effects of gully erosion in Oba, a community in Anambra situated along the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway.

Minister Umahi was visibly shocked by the extent of damage caused by the erosion, particularly along the Owerri-bound side of the expressway. He pledged that the Federal Government would take immediate action to prevent the further deterioration of the road, which had already affected the Onitsha-bound side.

In his assessment, Minister Umahi acknowledged that the magnitude of the gully erosion at Oba surpassed the capabilities of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to address. He acknowledged the gravity of the situation, stating, “This is a very difficult situation, I must say. We will explore the possibility of diverting the drainage to protect the other lane from being severed.”

Minister Umahi emphasized that the permanent solution to the Oba gully erosion would require extensive work, including piling at both ends of the road, a task that can only be undertaken during the dry season.

The minister also identified two other critical gully erosion sites posing threats to the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway, particularly near the Ozubulu area of the road.

During his inspection tour, Minister Umahi visited the 2nd Niger Bridge and commended the contractor for the quality of work done. However, he directed the contractor to replace the installed street lights on the bridge with solar street lights.

At Nnewi-Oba Road, the minister instructed the contractor to temporarily halt work and redesign the road to incorporate concrete pavement, a measure aimed at addressing ongoing challenges.

In response to questions from reporters, Minister Umahi urged Nigerians to exercise patience with President Bola Tinubu’s government regarding project execution, especially road construction. He acknowledged the need for substantial funding to address the nation’s road infrastructure and assured that the government was exploring innovative solutions to secure the necessary resources.

“As a government, we are thinking out of the box to source money to ensure that things work. For instance, I am reviewing a number of projects to determine where we can cut costs,” Minister Umahi stated, emphasizing the commitment to enhancing the nation’s infrastructure despite financial constraints.

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