By Douglas Okoro
Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi Tuesday performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of N2.6 billion twin flyover bridges at the Hausa Quarters’ Junction on the Afikpo-Abakaliki Expressway.
In a speech at the event, Umahi said the bridges, which would take nine months to complete, would be named after Bishop Michael Okoro, the retiring Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese.
According to him, the essence is to immortalise him, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of the state.
The governor described the bishop as “a symbol of love, peace, unity and what christianity should be.”
He expressed gladness that the cleric had given birth to his likes.
He said: “My Lord, I have never seen anybody complaining against you secretly or openly.
“It is a major feat to attain and so, we want to thank you for the service you have given to our state.
“A lot of people have consulted you over a lot of issues and you have quietly resolved them through Fr. Abraham Nwali, the Special Adviser on Religious Matters.
“We are thankful to you.
“We will name two flyovers after you: this one here and the one we are going to build around the timber shed.
“There is a spot taking lives there. We need to save lives and we are going to do it.
“Don’t ask how the money will come. It will come the moment it bears Bishop Nnachi Okoro,” the governor said.
He said the bridges became necessary to help decongest the traffic around the area and put an end to incessant road crashes and loss of lives at the spot.
He said that each bridge would cover 500 meters and would cost N1.2 billion and N1.4.billion, respectively.
“I have always maintained that the cost of building projects in Nigeria is the highest all over the world.
“And for a country that behaves like that, it is difficult to develop, in terms of infrastructure.
“We have to look inwards at the cost of our projects. Flyover is all about cement, chippings, sand and labour.
“I don’t know why we call multi billions to build a single flyover,” the governor said.
In a remark, the bishop thanked the state government for embarking on the gigantic project.
He also prayed for God’s grace on those that would use the bridges, when completed. (NAN)