Chief Femi Bamisile, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), on Sunday, urged the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the collapsed Ureje bridge in Ado Ekiti to deliver quality job.
Bamisile said, while addressing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, that he had been at the forefront of the struggle for the rehabilitation of the bridge since it was submerged by flood in 2019.
He said that the contractor, Dipcrest Nigeria Limited, should provide an alternative road to mitigate the hardship being experienced by residents, as it had almost excised a section of the metropolis from the capital city.
Bamisile, representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency II, said the provision of the alternative road had become expedient, owing to the strategic nature of the axis to the people and the survival of the state’s economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other eminent Ekiti indigenes, including Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), had earlier condemned the sudden closure of the road by the contractor without providing alternative route. NAN also reports that the bridge, located on Ado-Ijan-IkareAkoko road, collapsed in 2019 due to flooding.
The collapse of the bridge had sparked up protests among residents, as the entire Ureje axis, a suburb of Ado Ekiti, was cut off from the city.
Bamisile said that the contractor could not but deliver quality job, taking into cognisance the hardship being faced by the residents. He said: “Our people have suffered on this road since the flooding started in 2018. Lives have been lost and property damaged. So this rehabilitation is a big relief to all of us.
“The residents of the area and the Afe Babalola University, which represents the second largest employer of labour in Ekiti, lost several millions of naira when the bridge collapsed, as it hindered economic activities along that route.
“Considering all these, I appeal to the contractor not to disappoint the people by completing the work on time and according to specification, so that their means of livelihood will not be crippled for too long.”
On the protest allegedly being planned by residents over sudden closure of the bridge without alternative route, Bamisile pleaded for their understanding.He said that such action might prevent the project from being completed on time.
“I want to let our people know that protest is not the best option for now.
”It is only when the contractor fails to deliver good work or drag the job unnecessarily that we can begin to think of taking some actions,” he said.