Otti Flags Off Reconstruction Of Long-abandoned Port Harcourt Road, Aba

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Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, on Thursday flagged off the reconstruction of the long-abandoned Port Harcourt Road, a major artery that holds immense promise in the economic and social revival of Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia.

The currently disused road, which was constructed during the adminstration of the late Sam Mbakwe (between 1979 – 1983) of old Imo State, was once a bustling hub for economic activities but left to deteriorate over the past two decades by successive administrations.

Speaking during the event in a speech titled, “Building On A Solid Rock Of Excellence”, Governor Otti expressed his unwavering commitment to restore the road to its former glory and make it even more economically viable.

“I’m glad that we are taking yet another strategic step in fulfilling one of my major campaign promises which is to permanently break the jinx of Port Harcourt Road, Aba, and revive the long-abandoned economic activities along this corridor; activities that once gave Aba a set of peculiar advantages, starting from the early 1980s when our revered leader, Dee Sam Mbakwe, Governor of Old Imo State, constructed this road to feed into the expansion of the booming oil industrial complex in Port Harcourt.

Present state of Port Harcourt Road, Aba, at the time of flag-off of reconstruction.

“Dee Sam’s vision gained a foothold almost immediately as this stretch of road became a major hub for the servicing of heavy-duty vehicles, equipment, spare parts, power generating sets and ancillary tools. In no time, this axis emerged as one of the busiest parts of Aba and a go-to destination for maintenance engineers, procurement officers and contractors working for the multinationals in Port Harcourt and environs, bringing immediate prosperity and a host of other economic and social advantages to the city of Aba.

“For about two decades, it was all bliss and blush for businesses around this area until things began to fall apart in the mid to late 1990s, followed quickly by the unfortunate collapse and abandonment of the 2000s.

“Nothing seemed to work thereafter. In time, the businesses, including those that had their corporate headquarters around here began to disappear, finding more favourable locations as it became clear that succeeding administrations did not have the will to make the right commitments to restore this stretch of road and sustain its economic advantages; until today,” Governor Otti recalled as he addressed the mammoth crowd that trooped out to witness the landmark flag-off.

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