By Jonathan Ugbal
Payment for the construction of the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan bypass is yet to be completed by the Cross River State government says the contractor, SERMATECH Nigeria Limited (SNL) more than 27 months after its commissioning.
The road; a seven (7) kilometer multi lane highway beginning from Atimbo by IBB roundabout terminates with an flyover bridge and interchange at parliamentary extension and was commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2015.
Cube Soft limited, the Public Relations agent for the company in a statement said the unpaid contract has led to incurred interest on the loan from the bank used for the procurement of the project.
SNL has said on various platforms that the construction of the bypass almost led to its total ruins as the construction was handled at a fraction of the cost as the road construction was done with completely innovative techniques said Cube Soft.
Other international construction companies suggested the use of deck on pile techniques, Cube Soft said and pointed out that Nigeria’s acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo could only access the project he commissioned and performed groundbreaking ceremony for; because of the bypass.
“All these projects are only possible because of the creation of the bypass by Sermatech Nigeria Limited. The current Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof Ben Ayade, has a grand vision to turn the state into a major industrial hub for Nigeria and whole of Africa.
“The Goodluck Jonathan bypass will be a major transportation network for the state, now and in the future, as various billion naira projects have been sighted on that road. From the garment factory, to the rice mill, and the pharmaceutical industry.
“The management has appealed to Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, the State Accountant General and the Commissioner of works to please revisit SERMATECH Nigeria Limited and pay them all that is owed,” the statement read.
The statement further added that as of 2011, the then Margaret Ekpo by-pass in Calabar, Cross Rivers State was nothing but swamp land. The development was commissioned on the swamp land by the Ex-Governor, Liyel Imoke with Venatius Ikem, then commissioner of works and it took another 4-5 years, for the swamp land to be totally and completely transformed to a state of the art multi lane express way, complete with street lights, drainage and all road markings.
CrossRiverWatch findings however revealed that the road was constructed poorly with sections of the road rehabilitated in recent times.
Also, the drainage system is considered poor by some users who decry the high rate of water logged on the road after the bypass by MCC junction towards the flyover and interchange.