Updated: February 26, 2021
The Senate has urged the executive arm of government to immediately mandate Julius Berger to, as a matter of economic emergency, resume the rehabilitation and finalization of the Calabar–Itu Federal highway.
This was even as the upper chamber held a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the ocean pathway of Calabar and Oron.
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The Senate, in a motion sponsored by Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River Central), called on the executive to fund the dualization of the Calabar-Itu highway so as to accelerate commitment on the path of Julius Berger and ensure speedy completion of the project.
According to Onor, the highway which is significant to the economy of South-South and South-East States and was awarded to Julius Berger by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in 2017, has been abandoned for months, thereby causing heavy gridlock.
The lawmaker added that almost all retail and commercial purchases for the Cross-River market come from Onitsha, Aba and Port-Harcourt.
“The entire South-South and South-East States depend substantially on Cross-River State for the purchase of quality chippings for roads, buildings and other forms of construction activities
“This gridlock has therefore undeniably locked down critical economic activities in all the aforementioned states, thereby creating terrible economic downturn with obviously devastating consequences on the citizenry,” he said.
The lawmaker warned that the deteriorating state of the road, if not quickly addressed, would escalate the level of poverty and worsen the already alarming security situation in the zones.