The Costly Consequences: How Political Differences will Drain Abia State of Over N20Billion | #NwokeukwuMascot


…How political differences is about to cost Abia State over 20 billion by Dom Nik | #NwokeukwuMascot 

 File Image 

Walk with me. 

Aba has two major access Roads. Aba-Port Harcourt-Enugu Express Road and Aba-Ikot-Ekpene Road. 

There are about 7 exits into Aba from Aba-Port Harcourt-Enugu Road:

1) Port Harcourt Road

2) Uratta Road

3) Ariaria/Faulks Road 

4) Tonimas 

5) MCC/Chima Nwafor 

6) Omni 

7) Osisioma Junction 

As at May 2015, all the above mentioned roads were inaccessible. 

Arab Contractors working on the Port Harcourt- Enugu Road  were still snaking her way towards Aba and were somewhere around IsialaNgwa Junction. Osisioma Junction was a nightmare. 

Traffic Gridlocks there were draining. 

Let me be clear, the relief we got at Osisioma Junction later around 2021/22 was primarily due to the work of Arab Contractors. Nothing more.

Then Abia State Government worked towards creating access into Aba. Work began on: Aba-Owerri Road, Omni Road, MCC Road, Tonimas Road, initial works on Faulks Road failed. By her one year in office, these roads were motorable and it eased transport issues around that zone and into Aba.

Sometime in May 2017, Then Abia State Government formally flagged off the reconstruction of Port Harcourt Road. 

An Ambitious project!

Previous Governments have always concentrated with basic remedial work on that road because of, politics, amount of resources needed and amount of technology needed. 

It intended to create a 5.9 kilometer 6 lane corridor along the axis into Aba, complete with end to end drains and Street lights. 

It was ambitious and audacious. Houses had to be knocked down to expand the Road. 

The government made her first mistake. Knocked down house owners were not paid any compensation.

The opposition latched onto that and used it to build ill feelings toward the project! 

This little less than 10 Billion Naira project was awarded to Hartland/Setraco.

Hartland Construction company was incorporated in 1995 while Setraco Construction was incorporated in 1977. Both companies are owned by same family. With the Death of the principal partner of Setraco in 2009, there has been a convergence of technical ability by the 2 companies. Setraco/Hartland have records of handling similar jobs. 

Unfortunately there was some confusion in the state over the name Setraco/Hartland. The confusion didn't endear the company and project to Abians.

The project also had a formidable Natural opponent. Ndiegoro Basin.

Ndiegoro Basin is a Saucer-like flat land extending from Ariaria Axis, thru Uratta and Umuagbai. An area very difficult to drain.

The basin also has some notoriety. 

Immediately after the civil war, the federal government launched her 3R project. The Port Harcourt - Enugu Express Road was conceived. The Plan was to link, Enugu, administrative headquarters  East Central State, with Aba the Industrial Headquarters of East Central State and Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State. The road was Initiated by Gowon and Completed by Obasanjo. 

The new Road which greatly shortened the travel time to Port Harcourt elicited a demographic change as many people bought land and built along the newly emerging Port Harcourt Road. In so doing, the interfered with the natural drainage and set the pace for the upcoming natural disasters.

By 1976, Ekeoha market caught fire and the Government in trying to decongest Aba built the new Ariaria International Market. This new market lies on the fringe of Ndiegoro Basin. The attendant demographic shift towards the new market and Ariaria Axis worsened the drainage issue. 

Dee Sam Mbakwe, to maximize the potential of the Port Harcourt-Enugu Road built a brand new Port Harcourt Road around 1980/81. Also, he built a 3x3 underground drains to run by the side of the new Road emptying into Aba River thru Ngwa Road. 

However, the unplanned and indiscriminate buildings around Port Harcourt Road, Uratta Road etc adversely affected the natural drainage pattern and set the tone for the perennial flooding in this area. 

By 1981/82, after inspecting the flood, Governor Mbakwe wrote to the Federal Government to assist in mitigating and controlling the flood. He understood that the financial cost of controlling this was beyond the state. 

People kept buying lands and building houses and blocking natural drainage channels. 

The 1983 flooding was a disaster! The Ndiegoro flood disaster. 

When the governor later visited the disaster area! 

Dee Mbakwe wept!

In designing the new Port Harcourt Road in 2017, drainage was as important as the road. 

The concept then was to build a huge subsurface drain along Crystal park Road to collect all storm water to Umuagbai for onward movement to Aba River. 

The Government promised the contractors secured payment. 

I doubt they did that.

Same time the state Government was planning for the Port Harcourt Road project, it was involved in talks with the World Bank for a program of flood and Erosion control activity around Ndiegoro Basin. 

By 2019, the got the fund they were looking for from the world bank. 

The scope of the world bank project was; 

Construction of a storm drain from Uratta thru Umuagbai to Aba River. 

Total reconstruction of Ngwa Road 

Total reconstruction of Obohia road 

Reconstruction of part of Port Harcourt Road

Reconstruction of part of Uratta Road. 

A lot of things went wrong with the project. 

1) external sabotage by Abia Opposition who felt a well executed project will eclipse them 

2) internal sabotage by Government appointees who saw avenue of money making 

3) COVID-19. This stalled the project for about 2 years. 

4) The Governors illness 

5) signing up to a totally difficult and scarce technology. Tunnel boring technology. There is no tunnel boring technology outside South Africa in the whole of Africa. Egypt just acquired the tech.

With the availability of the world bank money, then Government wanted to do BOGOF (Buy one, get one free). Also, their Contractor HARTLAND won the world bank bid. 

This would have allowed for a seamless synchronization of both contract design especially in the area if drainage. 

Unfortunately, there were stories and scandals around the Tunnel Boring machine, which never came. 

By the time Ngwa Road was completed, work started around Obohia (drains were built, first free hundred meters were tarred) and Umuagbai pond. The program life span elapsed and World Bank withdrew.

By December of 2022, 5 long years after the award of Port Harcourt Road, most of the drains were done, the major artery subsurface drain around crystal park was completed.

Grading And Sloping were done

Sub-Bases were done

Binder And Surface Course was ongoing awaiting Asphalt installation. 

Then the 2023 elections happened. 

Port Harcourt Road was a fierce campaign point. Contractors don't like such exposure. 

Promises were made, threats were issued. It was clear to all that if LP wins the Governorship elections that HARTLAND will be yanked off the project. 

LP won. 

The undiplomatic inspection of Port Harcourt Road by a team of Julius Berger staff at a point sealed any hope of Hartland on that project.

It became obvious that it wasn't only party ideological differences but also personal differences. 

What held Port Harcourt Road wasn't the ability of Hartland to deliver, rather, the ability of Abia State Government to pay. 

Subsequently, the project was awarded to Julius Berger for a princely sum of 30 billion after Julius Berger gave us a 3 Billion Naira discount. 

Many industry expert are of the opinion that, there could have been a better route to this contract and to save money for Abia. 

The demolition of already installed construction materials to be replaced by similar material is viewed as an unnecessary waste. 

There is a congregation of opinion that Abia State could have paid a fraction of the amount it is paying JB to Hartland to complete the project and obtain a guarantee from Hartland over the quality and life span duration of their work! 

Less than 10 billion would have done that saving Abia more than 20 Billion which it can channel to other projects. 

The drains done by Hartland 7 years ago are still standing and gravitational pull takes rain run off to the crystal park drains. 

We hope for the best.

Dom Nik

Mayor of Mbano Camp


  1. Too bad when people know the truth and refuse saying it. PDP has been a bad luck from day one and u comparing quality of previous gutter to present one is simply annoying.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Otti Adds More Names on Transition Committee List, Following Social Media Outcry on Plans To Disfranchise Ukwa-Ngwa People | #NwokeukwuMascot

VIDEO: Mixed reactions as controversial, crossdresser, James Brown s3x tape leaks.

How Abia Acting DNS and Staff of Min of Health was reportedly detained for a day, granted bail of N400k with the strict condition | #NwokeukwuMascot