Editorial: Nnewi And The Depth Of Poor Road Infrastructure.
By Ebubechukwuzuloke Brown
From Ugoedo in Edoji Uruagu to Ezemewi road, from the densely populated Okponoegbu, Akaboezem and Okponoeze to the popular Nkwo Nnewi, from Mbanagu Otolo, Enem, Mmili ele, to the collapsed 100 foot road, the embarrassing sight of Nnewi roads surfaces is worth pushing a flood of tears from the eyes of any concerned citizen of Anambra State. Only a thoroughly deluded citizen who is blinded by political sentiments will heap praises on the performance of the government as it concerns road infrastructure in Nnewi.
The deplorable state of roads and lack of motorable access roads to the ever-increasing population in Nnewi have remained a nightmare to residents and visitors especially during the raining season.
For a town that receives approximately 120 million Naira monthly as local government allocation from the federation account and for a commercial/industrial town that generates billions of Naria to Anambra state government to have these deplorable state of roads clearly is a failure on the part of the government.
Whenever it rains, the roads in the commercial and industrial city of Nigeria remains an eyesore, residents, and visitors can only wish for the possibility of having wings to fly just to avoid the bitter experiences of Nnewi roads.
The most unfortunate part of the development is that the existing good roads in the town is fast dilapidating due to the high volume of traffic plying them.
For some years now expect for the administration of Chris Ngige and Peter Obi/Etiaba, roads in Nnewi have not received major attention, some of the roads constructed in the past were poorly built with low-quality materials. Most of the paved roads networks have lost their asphalt surface and are in very bad shape. Most of the roads are covered by water during the raining season because of lack of proper drainage, lots of uneven surfaces, potholes, and eroded areas.
Some of the roads include, Ugoedo road, Mmili Ele Okongwu Grammar School, Nnewi Ozubulu road, Okponoegbu roads, Akaboezem roads, Nkwo Nnewi roads, Nnewi Enem hall to Awka Etiti road, 100 foot road, St. Mary’s to Oraifite road, Okponoeze roads, Owerri road, Nnewi Abada to St. Peter Otolo to Awka Etiti road, flooding at bank road, Mbanagu road, Inyaba Umudim road and rest. The list is indeed endless.
Poor road maintenance is also a major problem contributing to the poor state of roads in Nnewi. Most of the major road networks in Nnewi were poorly constructed. Due to poor maintenance and low-quality materials, the roads keep getting worse.
There is a need for improvement on the ring roads to enable easier connectivity with other important roads in the town. The increasing population, also called for more expansion of Nnewi roads to ease the congestion that has continued to cause serious traffic gridlock, thereby leading to long hours being wasted in the traffic especially along Ibeto Junction, St. Marys road, Amuko Junction, Owerri road, Nwafor Uruagu road and Nnewi Roundabout which connects the four quarters in the City centre where the market, offices, and businesses are mostly located.
Credit must be given to Hon. Engr. Chris Azubuogu the member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo in the Federal House of Representative, despite not being any executive position, he has been to influence the construction of some roads in Nnewi more than the state government has done in the last three years.
However, the state government must make construction and rehabilitation of roads a priority in Nnewi. The multiplicity of the accessible road network remains the backbone of social and economic activities in Nnewi. Road maintenance and repair should be done on regular and at appropriate time intervals. Proper drainage facilities along road networks should be available. Traffic lights should be established at major junctions in Nnewi.
The business community and the leadership of Nnewi must rise and demand for improved road infrastructure in Nnewi from the state government.