The Cross River State Ministry of Works yesterday commenced ‘operation zero portholes’ in Calabar, the state capital, in line with the directive of the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade.
Gov. Ayade had given the ministry a seven-day ultimatum to fix all potholes identified in the 120 internal roads in Calabar metropolis to ensure free flow of traffic during the 2015 Calabar Festival celebrations that herald Carnival Calabar on December 28.
Speaking at Ikot Eyo Street, in Calabar where the ministry has commenced rehabilitation work, Director of Civil Engineering Godwin Akeke, said the ministry was working round the clock to deliver on the mandate of ensuring that all potholes in the metropolis were fixed within seven days as directed by the governor.
His words: “As we speak, we are fully mobilized to site, we are ready and all our contractors have subsequently been deployed to sites. As segmented for timely completion, we have put everything in place to ensure that we deliver and give our visitors and residents good roads for easy and pleasurable movement round the town.
“The governor has warned that he does not want to see any pothole in the entire metropolis and we will do our very best to put the roads in good shape before the celebrations. From here we are tackling the Carnival routes while work on other spots will be going on simultaneously”.
Mr. Akeke, however, sought the cooperation of all road users, particularly motorists, notifying that some of the roads will be closed in the course of the exercise to effect some major repairs and regretted any inconveniences the closure may cause them.
On the standard of work to be executed especially at spots that needed reconstruction, a Consultant to the Ministry, Mr. Ita Ikpeme, said the required standard practice will be adhered strictly, saying: “You should not expect anything less, because my work here is to ensure that the right materials are used at the right time at all location”.
He stressed that the maintenance work was not only for the Carnival as it would now be a routine exercise as directed by the governor.
Mr. Ikpeme declared that “never again shall we have potholes on the streets of Calabar during the life of this administration”.
Some of the residents at Ikot Eyo, Parliamentary Village, while reacting to the development, praised Governor Ayade for his timely intervention to save the street dwellers of the ordeal of long delays on the road.