The governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma had in July 2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the German construction company, Julius Berger to build two major roads in Imo, namely; Owerri-Orlu road and Owerri-Okigwe roads.
This development was greeted with excitement on the side of Imo people who had before now lamented over poor road network. Thereafter, the assurance to construct such strategic roads was trailed by outpouring of commendations and praises by prominent Imo leaders, IMC committee members and other groups and civil society organizations.
Two months down the line, Imo people were confronted with the reality that the said roads, especially that of Orlu-Owerri Road is now being re-constructed by JRB construction Company instead of the much talked about and highly brandished Julius Berger. Though both names are alike but the difference is clear as those seen on the site accepted that they are not workers of Julius Berger Construction Company.
Our reporter who visited the site at Umuaka, Njaba Bridge observed that no professionals were hired to carry out the reconstruction work. When he interviewed one of the pregnant women carrying shovel, she said that she was paid to scoop sand from the road.
Some of the road users who spoke to this reporter expressed shock that the government did not march it’s word with action. Some argued that it is deceptive to promise Imo people that Julius Berger will take over the construction and maintenance of the roads only to hire an unknown company that bears a similar name with Julius Berger to carry out the job. This they stated angrily is playin with the sensibilities of Imo people. They stated further that nothing less than Julius Verger Construction Company for the two aforementioned roads, will be acceptable especially going by the fact that those roads recently commissioned by Uzodinma have already collapsed or were poorly reconstructed by local contractors.
They cited the control post Assumpta Catholic Cathedral road to World Bank Housing Estate Umuguma road,Owerri.