Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, has pledged unwavering support to the China Harbour Engineering Company. The commitment comes as the renowned company embarks on the critical second phase of the Abuja-Makurdi-9th Mile (Enugu) road project. This was contained in a press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Tersoo Kula.
Mr Kula reported that during a courtesy visit to the Government House in Makurdi on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024, Governor Alia extended a warm welcome to the visiting team from China Harbour Engineering Company. The Governor articulated the state’s eagerness and anticipation for the onset of the second phase of this pivotal road project.
Governor Alia highlighted the state government’s proactive steps, mentioning the formation of a dedicated team to facilitate collaboration and address land compensation matters. According to the release, “While appreciating the Federal Government of Nigeria for awarding the Makurdi-Ninth Mile road contract, Governor Alia equally thanked China Habour Engineering Company for accepting to partner with the Nigerian government and for completing the Abuja-Makurdi dualisation work for the usage of the people of the axis and Nigerians in general.”
Responding to the governor’s remarks, Engr. Li Qaingqiang, the Project Manager of China Harbour Engineering Company, conveyed his appreciation for the cooperation received during the execution of the Abuja-Makurdi Phase 1 project. Emphasising the importance of continued collaboration, Engr. Qaingqiang urged for consistent support from the state government and the Federal Ministry of Works. Engr. Qaingqiang highlighted the necessity to address land compensation challenges promptly, ensuring a smooth and timely progression of the project.
Detailing the preparatory efforts for the Makurdi-Ninth Mile (Enugu) road project, Engr. Qaingqiang confirmed that groundwork had been initiated in 2023. He expressed optimism about initiating full-fledged operations shortly.
In a related development, the Vanguard newspaper had previously highlighted concerns over the 9th-Mile-Otukpo highway’s deteriorating condition. Four House of Representatives members from Enugu State, representing the Labour Party, had earlier embarked on initiatives to expedite the rehabilitation of this vital route which was constructed at independence in the 1960s. The highway serves as a crucial link connecting northern and southern Nigeria through Enugu and Benue states.
The recent assurances from Governor Alia and collaboration with China Harbour Engineering Company signal a renewed commitment to infrastructural growth, promising improved connectivity and economic prospects for the region.