Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state has directed Ganza Engineering Ltd, the company handling the N3.98bn Ukawu water scheme in Okawu, Onicha L.G.A to immediately return to site.
Umahi, who gave the order while inspecting the water project, awarded by the immediate past administration in April 2008,expressed disappointment with the quality of work and the speed of the contractor in handling the project.
“Tell Ganza to return to work immediately. We will schedule a meeting with the contractor for Friday”, he told the site Engineer by the bank of Ukawu River.
It will be recalled that the Ukawu water project was initiated by the former governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi, together with Oferekpe water scheme. While Oferekpe water project was completed without reticulating water to serve Ebonyi people, the Ukawu water project which had a completion period of two years, has remained a ghost of itself.
It was gathered that the contractor which had received N2bn payment requested that additional N4bn be paid by the state government to enable his company continue work on the project.
Governor Umahi, who was visibly unhappy on seeing the poor quality, sat down on a concrete deck up the water scheme looking at the contract details and shaking his head intermittently.
He inspected the project companied by the Commissioner for works, Engr. Fidelis Nweze, Senior technical Assistant to the governor on projects, Engr. Oka Uchechi, chairman of Onicha LGA, Mrs Elizabeth Onwe and other top government functionaries.
Umahi had earlier inspected Hilltop/Nwofe/Agbaja Road, Presco flyover, Akanu Ibiam round about flyover, among other projects.
Meanwhile, Ebonyi State Government has said it would renovate the palace of the former Premier of the Eastern Region, Dr. Akanu Ibiam within a year or build a new palace in two years.
Umahi also promised to commence the rehabilitation of bad portions of the Afikpo-Unwana Road within the next couple of weeks.
Umahi, who extolled the leadership qualities and pioneering role Dr. Ibiam played in the creation of Ebonyi State, said his administration would continue to accord him the highest honour.
Until his death in July 1995, the late premier, who founded Ohanaeze Ndigbo, was the traditional ruler of Unwana.
Umahi was also in Ekoli Edda where he inaugurated the street lights initiated by his administration through the Sustainable Development Goals.
A statement on Friday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya quoted Umahi as having told the mammoth crowd in Ekoli Edda he could not proceed to Edda without visiting Akanu Ibam’s home.
“We went to Akanu Ibiam’s palace; we saw that the road which leads to his palace needed urgent attention. And at Akanu Ibam palace,we offered to renovate it (palace) within the period of one year or in the alternative, build a brand new palace within a period of two years. So, the Afikpo North LGA chairman and the Regent of Unwana, Alu Ibiam and others in the community will advise us on what to do.”
Umahi charged the caretaker chairmen of the 13 LGAs to protect electric cables and street light installations in their areas against vandalism. He also called on the people of Edda to work together so as to attract more development, describing Edda people as one of the richest in terms of intellectual capacity and wealth in the state.
His words: “I want to challenge every local government- there should be no stealing of cables.
“If you show example with one person who steals cable, by taking such person to police, others will learn their lesson.
“I want our people here in Edda to work together. You are one of the richest local governments in terms of intellectual capacity and wealth. And so, you have to deploy these in a way of unity to work together and live together.”
The chairman of Afikpo south LGA, Chief Eni Uduma, had applauded Governor Umahi for his people- oriented programmes and assured that the people of Edda were solidly behind him.
Uduma said that three foreign based Edda sons – Johnson Oti, Udu Chima and Odogwu Agwu – had promised to provide over 10,000 litres of gas to ensure that the street light did not go off for a second in the community.
Before Umahi turned on the light, a 99-year-old community leader, conferred on him the chieftancy title of man of valour. He prayed for divine guidance on the governor and good health.