Minister of Works, Chief David Umahi expressed shock on Sunday at the sight of the gully erosion at Oba, a community in Anambra on the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway.
Umahi assured that the Federal Government would take urgent steps to ensure that the Owerri-bound side of the expressway was not severed as it had happened to the Onitsha-bound side.
“The magnitude of the gully at Oba is beyond the capacity of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to reverse,’’ the minister, on a two-day inspection of federal roads in Anambra, said.
“This is a very difficult situation I must say. We will look at the possibility of diverting the drainage so as to save the other lane from getting cut off.
“I must say that this is a difficult situation because if we cannot divert the flood, we must divert the road,’’ he said.
Umahi emphasised that the permanent solution to the Oba gully erosion was to pile the two ends of the road, noting that such work could be done only during the dry season.
The minister noted that apart from Oba, two other serious gully erosion sites threatening the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway were at the Ozubulu end of the road.
Umahi also visited the 2nd Niger Bridge and commended the contractor for doing “nice and quality job’’.
He, however, directed the contractor to change the street lights installed on the bridge to solar street lights.
At Nnewi-Oba Road, the minister directed the contractor to suspend work and redesign the road to use concrete pavement to address obvious challenges.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Umahi advised Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu’s government on the execution of projects, especially roads.
“We need huge amount of money to fix roads.
“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 cost,’’ Umahi said.