The Abia Government says it will soon begin the payment of compensation to the owners of structures marked for demolition ahead of the reconstruction of the Ossah Road, Umuahia.
The government has been holding consultations with property owners on both sides of the major road to Umuahia, off the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
The government said that work would soon commence to expand the road by one more lane either side.
Giving an update on the project on Monday, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Okey Kanu, said that 150 structures had been marked for demolition
Kanu said this at a news briefing on the outcome of the State Executive Council at the Government House, Umuahia.
He said that the decision to expand the road from four to six lanes was to ease traffic and enhance the aesthetics of Umuahia.
He said that there was no going back on the project, adding that the
demolition, which ought begin on Monday, was shifted by three weeks.
The commissioner said that consultations between government and the communities affected by the project was still ongoing and had yielded good results.
He said that the notice on how much compensation to pay to the owners of the marked structures would be made public soon.
Kanu further said that the “Light up Abia initiative” and the ongoing free medical services by the government were in fulfillment of the Gov. Alex Otti’s campaign promises.
He said that plans were underway to rehabilitate and fully equip additional 12 General Hospitals before the end of this year.
He said that the number was in addion to the three that would be ready by the end of August.
Kanu further disclosed that some Abians in diaspora had indicated interest to collaborate with the State Government “to provide quality healthcare services to Abia people”.
He said that although many Abia people shied away from patronizing government hospitals, the narrative was being changed with what government was currently doing in the health sector.
He also said that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) launched by the present administration would commence on September 11.
He said the TSA was initiated to encourage due process and transparency in the governance.
According to the commissioner, the ban on the use of motorcycles in the Aba and Umuahia metropolis is still in force.
He warned security operatives to desist from extorting motorcyclists under the guise of enforcing the ban.
Also, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr Chaka Chukwumerije, said that the 160 structures marked for demolition on the Ossah Road had been enumerated and evaluated.
Chukwumerije said that the compensations would be paid in tranches.
He said that the essence of postponing the demolition date was to give the affected persons enough time to relocate, pointing out that the government was “not in a hurry to demolish but to develop”.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Ngozi Felix, said that government would hold the Abia Women August Delegates’ Conference on Tuesday.
Felix said that the meeting would deliberate on measures to tackle sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
She said the event would essentially feature the empowerment of 102 women in three categories, including people living with disability, indigent and elderly women.