The people of Arochukwu Local Government Area have expressed gratitude to Abia State government for completing the major bridge at Ndi Okereke, along the Ozu Abam-Arochukwu road.
The road serves residents of Abam, Arochukwu, Ihechiowa and Ututu communities. Commenced over 25 years ago, it took Masta Services unalloyed commitment to complete the bridge late last year, after previous contractors failed on the job.
The Masta Services Company Ltd achievement provided some respite for motorists on that route, especially during the last Yuletide period.
Residents of the communities find the Ozu Abam road shorter to navigate. Indeed, it came handy as alternative route when the Arochukwu-Ohafia Federal road posed a serious challenge.
But as the Ozu Abam road continued to deteriorate over the years, driving through it had become progressively impossible during the rainy season.
That was basically the dilemma of residents of the communities until Masta Services came to the rescue. Before then, the leadership of Nzuko Aro had embarked on periodic palliative works on the road, to enable motorists use it. But often, the job hardly withstood a full cycle of rainy season.
Aro News correspondent spoke with a few persons that use the road regularly.
According to Young, who owns a rice mill in the area, since the bridge was completed last November, “more and more motorists have been using this road and we are now having more patronage of our rice business. Motorists now stop and buy bushels of rice from our mills.
“I make more sales now because more people are passing through this road. Both rice retailers and consumers pass through this our road now. Most of them say it is more convenient for them to buy our rice on their way home, than buying in the city and paying transportation for it through the long distance.
“In fact, the completion of the bridge has had a positive impact on trading and other agricultural activities here in Abam, and I thank the governor for ‘forcing’ the contractor to complete the bridge.”
On her own part, a palm oil dealer and an indigene of Ndi Ite, Abam, Mrs. Hannah Okam, said that as more motorists ply the road, she has been making more sales, compared to the situation before the bridge was completed.
“My sales have doubled since the bridge was constructed. More people buy my red oil, plantain and firewood now.”
She, however, appealed to the government to put in more effort to complete the road project, saying the bridge is only a part of it.
“This road has been under construction since my primary school days; through my secondary school days, to this day when I have married and raised children …. They are still constructing the road, and many do not know how much money the government has spent on the bridge and on the road. Will it take eternity to complete?” she asked.