Anambra residents express worry over bad roads

Anambra residents express worry over bad roads

Residents of the Anambra State Capital, Awka, and its environs have lamented the effects of bad roads in the state, attributing low business transactions to the state of the roads.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who sampled the opinions of some residents on Monday in Awka, reported that some residents interviewed said that the bad roads have contributed to the high cost of transport fares in the city and its environs.

Ifeoma Enechkwa said that the rate at which the roads around the city get broken is a shock because the government keeps rehabilitating the roads, yet they appear not done.

“Virtually all roads that lead to schools, markets, hospitals, business outlets, and residential areas are not passable.

“Christmas is almost near and work is yet to commence on these important roads that lead to commercial centres in the state, I hope the government will do something before the festivity,” she said.

Uche Ekenechukwu, a fruit seller, said the bad road leading to markets where she goes to buy her wares is horrible and has caused motorists to hike their fares.

“We used to pay mini trucks between N2,000 to N3,000 after buying our items, but now one must have a minimum of N5,000. This has affected the market too, because customers will always keep down prices.

“Business these days has been frustrated due to poor road networks from point of buying to point of sales.

“It really discourages me. I am even looking for a place to do a nanny job now,” she said.

Governor Willie Obiano

A motorist, Nnamdi Okafor, who plies Eke Awka to Isuanaocha in Awka North Local Government Area of the state, expressed sadness at the inaccessible condition of Unizik junction road through Okpuno access road which is the only road open to the public.

Mr Okafor said the government should make residents happy this Christmas by working on the roads this December.

‘Most times, passengers choose to trek’

Okwuchukwu Nwoye, a tricycle driver, told NAN that he takes his tricycle to the workshop most times during business hours because of the negative impact of the bad roads.

Mr Nwoye said the roads in his area – Isuaniocha, near Awka – are bad and impassable which made the operators of tricycles and bikes to raise their fare from N150 to N300 or N400, depending on the distance.

“Most times, passengers choose to trek if they move in groups, instead of patronising us,” he said.

He said it is not their intention to raise fares but the rate of maintenance of their vehicles and other factors have pushed them to do so.

Peter Okoye, a resident of the state, said the people have been denied the pleasure of having a motorable road.

Mr Okoye said that Awka as a capital city, currently has no road infrastructure and disclosed that he visits mechanic workshops on weekly basis to repair his vehicle due to the bad roads.

He advised the government to have a culture of road maintenance instead of waiting till the existing roads fail totally as the cost of maintaining roads is cheaper than constructing new ones.

Moses Okechukwu, an engineer, said Awka has become a “laughing stock” when it comes to road-network as all roads in the city have failed.

“Look at Aroma junction, INEC junction, Kenneth Dike Library, amongst other places. They are all very bad, yet we say we are ‘the Light of the Nation’,” he said.

Mr Okeke appealed to the state lawmakers to do oversight function on the state roads and hold the ministry accountable and call for immediate massive road rehabilitation.

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He said the bad conditions of roads in the state is affecting all sectors of the state economy.

Ugochukwu Ogwu, a university lecturer, said that due to the bad roads, he spends hours on the road before getting to his office because of the gridlock experienced on a daily basis.

He said the inability of the state government in putting the road infrastructure across Awka in good condition is worrisome and appealed that rehabilitation of the roads should commence before Christmas as the government had promised.

Mr Ogwu said the rate of bad roads has made it possible and easy for the public to be attacked on their way to their business areas and the festive period is fast coming, nothing visible is seen being done on the roads.

He said the time is now for the government to embark on holistic road maintenance, reconstruction and construction across Awka befitting its status as the capital city.

Mr Ogwu said that roads are one of the basic amenities expected from any government.

Marcel Ifejiofor, the Anambra commissioner for works, when contacted on telephone, declined to comment on the state of the roads.

“I do not want to talk to you on the phone regarding the matter,” he said.

When the reporter asked for an appointment to see him, he responded, “I am always on the site”.

(NAN)

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