By Jennifer John
Imo State Governor Senator Hope Uzodimma, on Tuesday, December 1st, flagged off the construction of seven roundabouts in the state capital.
Speaking during the flag-off, the governor described the state capital he met when he took over as abandoned which contributed to the high cost of living in the city because of the traffic gridlock, coupled with the incessant flooding in the city.
“We decided to embark on constructions to recover the streets, the markets and by the grace of God, reduce the cost of doing business in Owerri. On traffic gridlock, our traffic survey revealed that the cause is the random roundabouts and rampant tax forces.
The governor said it was the reason his government has decided to embark in urban renewal, to modify the roundabouts in the city, adding that “Planet Earth” the contracting company contracted to handle the project is world-class traffic managers and the same company which handled that of Lagos and it resulted to the free flow of traffic witnessed in Lagos now.
“We are retaining the company, so within the next six to seven months, improve the traffic situation in Owerri metropolis and make it look good as the capital of Imo State.
Speaking the deputy governor expressed appreciation to the governor for his passion to modernize the city and said people of Owerri zone should count themselves lucky to have the governor who likes Owerri people and wants to make the capital a model city.
“On behalf of all people of Owerri zone, I thank him for his love for Owerri people
In his address, the state Commissioner for Works, Ralph Nwosu pointed out that Imo State is the tourism destination of in the South-east streets in the capital were in absolute delamination which the governor has started improving on which cannot be achieved without the free flow of traffic, the reason for the urban renewal programme.
He listed the roundabouts to be improved on to include; Warehouse, Akwakuma, MCC, Fire Service, Emmanuel College, Naze and one that will soon be decided.
Managing Director of Planet project Mr Biodun Otunola said Owerri and other cities in the state have been under lockdown due to traffic congestion which he attributed to the type of roundabout in the city, adding that the more the type of roundabout in the city, the more life become unbearable for the people.
He promised that by the end of their work, people of the state will enjoy free flow of traffic, as according to him they have done it before and will repeat it in the state and disclose that the new roundabouts will have traffic lights, guard roads for pedestrians, traffic signs