Umahi Meets Buhari, Seeks Help On Bad Ebonyi Roads | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Umahi Meets Buhari, Seeks Help On Bad Ebonyi Roads

Posted: Jul 16, 2015 at 9:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa –  Abuja


Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, has met with President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking assistance towards the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state, which are so dilapidated and scaring investors away, and used the visit to deny speculations that he was planning to defect from his party to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Emerging from a meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, the governor told journalists that the matter assumed more urgency since the President recently announced his decision to revive local industries and attract investors.

Besides, Ebonyi, just like many other states, has been handicapped by dwindling resources and would find it impossible right now to construct federal roads for a refund later.

Umahi said Ebonyi is endowed with so many resources for which investors have been bombarding him with requests and interests but accompanied with complaints over bad roads in the state.

His words: “In Ebonyi, we have solutions to the problems in the nation, in the area of agriculture, mineral resources like cement, lead, zinc, copper and coal. We also have large deposits of salt.

“A lot of investors, when they heard of the patronage that the President intends to give to local production of these items, they beseeched Ebonyi state, and hey want to invest in these areas.

“But we have issues, the roads leading to these sites are federal roads, and they are in very bad state.”

“So I came to ask Mr. President for two things; some banks are willing to lend money to Ebonyi state to construct these roads and they want assurance from the Federal Government that when they lend us money to construct these roads the Federal Government will reimburse them.

“Then, there are some people or companies that want to do PPP with the state government on the development of these roads and they want a guarantee from the federal government that they will allow them to put toll gate so as to get back their funds.

“Ebonyi state has a lot of farmlands that support agricultural production, including rice and cassava. I think we are still the largest producers of cassava in Nigeria. These roads also lead to these large farmlands.

“Presently, we have five gigantic modern rice mills producing quiet a lot of rice, but we need more encouragement in order to produce more rice.”

The governor said he had “wonderful discussion with the President and he is very much interested,” over the issues raised.

He reiterated his support for Buhari’s war against corruption, saying he was going about it the right way and would achieve the desired results.

He dismissed any insinuation that his support for the President’s anti-corruption methods was tantamount to his planning to defect from the PDP to the ruling APC.

“Without fighting corruption there is no way this country can grow. So we support him because it is a very good policy.

“I support him personally because I am doing the same thing in Ebonyi state, I share the same character with him fighting corruption, and that does not amount to cross carpeting. I am still very happy being in PDP,” he explained.

?Reacting to paucity of funds for projects, Umahi said; “I have to use different approach because there are no funds right now. I tasked myself that I must develop the state within two years and that is the approach I am using.”?