Tony Okoh || Akwa Ibom state government has explained the rationale behind the enormous patronage given to indigenous contractors by Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in over two years of the administration.
The state commissioner for works Mr. Ephraim inyang Eyen who conducted journalists around the completed and ongoing road projects in the three senatorial districts of the state over the weekend said they are doing very well.
According to the commissioner, ”Before I got here, I learnt the indigenous contractors were not considered good enough for road projects, but I said if Asphalt, stone base, red earth are the same with the machinery used for road construction the same as what foreign firms use, then i insisted on using the indigenous contractors. But I charged them to live up to expectation, allow them the resources and they are doing very good jobs. Almost all the roads we have commissioned over twelve (12) of them were done by the indigenous contractors”.
The commissioner explained that most of the indigenous contractors being stakeholders in the Akwa Ibom project do sometimes use their resources to construct roads and get paid much later, a sacrifice most foreign firms will not make.
He further highlighted, “In Obot Akara Council Area, the road project there is done by Seyan, an indigenous firm several other signature roads across the state were done by indigenous contractors like Benest, Henserk, and others. Given the right environment and resources, our indigenous contractors can compete favorably with their foreign counterparts.
Works Commissioner, Inyang eyen
The commissioner who acknowledged their efforts in bettering the state by reinvesting their profits on the people further stressed, “Again I know Akwa Ibom people are happy with what we are doing with our indigenous contractors. Of course, the profits they made from the job are reinvested back in the State. For instance, Hensek Integrated after the completion of Nung Ukim road empowered many people in the community, gave them boreholes and a town hall among others. If you ask me, I will appeal that the Governor hand over at least 60% of jobs to indigenous firms because I know they will do well and anytime there is an issue, they listen and make amends without arguments or quarrel
Mr. Ephraim inyang eyen assured that many of the ongoing road projects in different parts of the state will be ready for commissioning during Governor Emmanuel’s third anniversary in office this year.
On his own, the Managing Director Seyan Engineering Ltd, Engr Samuel inyang handling the 6.41km obot akara road with two bridges linking Akwa Ibom and Abia state expressed gratitude to Governor Emmanuel for the opportunity given to them to show their expertise.
He noted that that big firms like Julius Berger were made by Nigerian government through patronage stressing that with sustained patronage from Governor Emmanuel, his firm and others will soon become global players too in the construction business.