‘MTN determined to complete Enugu-Onitsha Expressway’

L-R: Enugu Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Taofik Adeyemi; Squadron Leader, Nigerian Air Force, I.I Muhammad; Hon. Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Enugu State, Engr. Gerald Otiji;Assistant Corp Mashal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Enugu Zone 9, O.I Ameh and Account Partner, Enterprise Business, MTN Nigeria, Chinenye Moneke at the temporary opening of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, currently being reconstructed by MTN Nigeria under the Federal Government’s RITC Scheme.

* Partners FRSC to open partially completed road for Yuletide

Telecommunications giants, MTN Nigeria, has expressed its determination to ensure the completion of the Enugu–Onitsha dual carriageway in record time.

The MTN Nigeria took over the N202.8 billion road project last year under the road infrastructure tax credit (RITC) scheme of the federal government.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) held in Enugu on Thursday to temporarily open partially/completed sections of the road to ease traffic for travellers during this yuletide, the MTN Coordinator Community Liaison Initiative, Dr Reginald Facah, expressed happiness that vehicular traffic would return to the road after years dilapidation.

He said the people of Enugu and Anambra States would “be able to travel in a long while on top of the Amawbia flyover to territories beyond without going under the bridge and doing an illegal one-way that the authorities were forced to legalize a long time ago.

“By this singular act of taking up one of the most dilapidated roads in Nigeria, the Enugu – Onitsha dual carriageway in the novel RITC scheme pioneered by former President Muhammadu Buhari, MTN Communications Nigeria PLC has shown that it is an organization that has the common good of the Nigerian masses at heart. 

“Indeed, taking up this project from the state we met it and running with it till the present state and beyond has not been an all rosy experience; but we are determined to see it till the end”. 

Facah described the project as part of MTN’s community liaison, which he explained as a go-between function between two or more person, groups and institutions with an intention at ensuring that mutual benefits, fairness, justice and a joint sense of ownership pervade the relationship.

“It is a concept more deployed by oil companies in the Niger Delta region; but MTN brought it to play in the rehabilitation of the Enugu – Onitsha dual carriageway to ensure that the peoples and communities along the project corridor as well as critical stakeholders get a feeling of inclusiveness and ownership during and after the course of the project in their vicinity.”

Facah stated that MTN Community Liaison Initiative model began when in late October 2023 when MTN Nigeria Communications PLC (MTN) appointed Crown Crest Global Engineers Ltd (CCGE) as the Community Liaison Manager (Consultants) of the RITC Project which involves the repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of the 107km x 2 Onitsha – Enugu Dual Carriageway.

“This particular CLI is a baby of MTN Communications Nigeria Ltd, and its major function is to assess the impact of the road rehabilitation exercise on the people and communities along the work corridor and see how the experience can be mutually beneficial to all the stakeholders involved and affected by the road rehabilitation work”, he said.

While noting that December and the Christmas season have seen unimaginable suffering on the parts of commuters and drivers on the same road, Facah lamented that many Southeasterners did not bother to do the end of year homecoming ritual because the deplorable state of the roads in the southeast has further exacerbated the security situation. 

“However, with the present state of the Enugu – Onitsha Road after the MTN intervention, many people will gladly make the trip home this year; with vehicular and human traffic from the Onitsha Bridge down to the Abakpa 82 division end of the road expected to be heavy and traffic control very hectic.

“However, the opening of some partially completed sections of the dual carriageway to ameliorate the anticipated traffic logjam on the road is expected to make the drive through a whole lot easier and better”.

The Southeast zonal commander FRSC, Mr. Ochinga I. Ameh, an Assistant Corps Marshall, commended MTN for taking up the project, saying its imminent completion would not only ease the traffic jam usually experienced, but would prevent accidents and save lives.

Ameh however appealed to the people of Enugu and Anambra States and indeed all road users that may be traversing the route during and after the Yuletide period to always exercise patience and caution to avoid avoidable accidents.

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