" ITREALMS: Enugu-Onitsha: MTN pledges smart road - ITREALMS

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Enugu-Onitsha: MTN pledges smart road - ITREALMS

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The challenges faces currently by motorists and road users along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway would soon be a thing of the past as telecom giant pledged to make the road smart on completion, reports ITREALMS.

Enugu-Onitsha: MTN pledges smart road - ITREALMS
Disclosing this to ITREALMS, the Principal Consultant, Crown Crest Global Engineers (CCGE) and chairman, MTN/CCGE Community Liaison Initiative (CLI), Engr Chris Okoye that when completed, the Enugu – Onitsha 107km x 2 dual carriage way would be a full option smart road.

A statement by the Coordinator, MTN/CCGE Community Liaison Initiative (CLI), Dr. Reginald Facah, quoted the chairman as stating this at a strategic meeting with the Garrison Commander of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Bridgadier-General Murtala Mohammed Abu, recently in Enugu.

Okoye also said that MTN is funding the construction of the road through the Federal Government (FG) novel Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS).

He equally said the meeting was to seek collaboration especially in terms of security by both parties.

Accompanied by Dr. Reginald Facah, Coordinator of the MTN/CCGE Community Liaison Initiative (CLI) and the Community Liaison Officer in Enugu State, Mrs. Chinenye Okwuosa, the chairman noted that smart roads are in vogue the world over and are good for traffic management and security.

Okoye explained that the road is planned to be a freeway to encourage a free flow of traffic from one end to the other.
"when completed, there would be no difference between day and night time driving on the expressway as there are plans to deploy solar light right from Enugu to Onitsha,” he declared.

In addition, Okoye revealed there will be deployment of drones and Closed-circuit television.

'Check point would also be a thing of the past if the smart road concept is fully deployed, instead lots of security patrols would be encouraged to guard against a situation where checkpoints hamper and slow down traffic on the dual carriage way," he said, stressing "The security personnels would be encouraged to do more of clear – stop – and- search.”

The Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS), he said, is a policy initiative by the Federal Government to woo Private Sector into participating in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria.

"It is structured in such a manner as to allow the investing partner (in this wise, MTN) to deploy maximum of 50% of its tax liability in a year to the execution of the 107x2 Enugu-Onitsha project whilst the other 50% is transferred to the FIRS to fund other FG’s projects," Okoye explained.

Also speaking, commandant Abu commended the scheme and applauded MTN for its commitment toward delivering a world standard road.

He pointed out somee challenges with a smart road to include indiscipline by road users and not having a enough vehicles for patrol.

He further noted that roadblocks were tactically located as these areas are prone to armed robbery and IPOB disturbances.

He assured the team that their suggestions on the smart road and the role of security agencies would be further examined so that the best option can be adopted including collaboration with sister Federal agencies like the Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to also reduce the number of checkpoints on the roads and with the state government to support them with patrol vehicles.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/Editor

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