An increase in the budget has been made for the Ikot Ekpene-Aba-Owerri road widening project in South East Nigeria. This route is to be improved and widened so that it has two lanes in either direction, rather than just one at present. The route is a busy one as it provides a central link between the busy commercial city of Onitsha, Imo State capital Owerri and the state capital of Akwa Ibom State, Uyo. This route also connects Onitsha to Calabar, State capital of Cross River State, which lies close the border with Cameroon.
However the route has declined in standard due to lack of maintenance over many years, with the rainy season posing a particular challenge to transport. The Nigerian Federal Government initially set a budget of US$10.4 million for the project in 2021. However this has now been increased to $17 million. The work is being carried out by the Egyptian firm, Arab Contractors.