Residents hail Governor Emmanuel on Quality roads, industrialization in A’Ibom.

Tony Okoh, Uyo || When he took the seat as the fourth civilian governor of Akwa Ibom State, on May 29, 2015, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel settled down immediately to work towards addressing his pre-election promises.

His manifesto was anchored on a 5-point agenda including industrialization, human capital development, Political inclusion infrastructural consolidation, economic prosperity and aggressive agricultural programme.

However, for the industrial policy to take shape, the accompanying facilitator, the road infrastructure, according to the Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, remains one of the major focal points of the administration.

Gov Udom Emmanuel inspecting ongoing projects with works commissioner

“Road infrastructure is the bedrock of industrialization and that is why the administration has invested its energy and resources into making sure roads are fixed across the 31 Local Government Areas”, he noted.

In recognition of this fact, the governor, according to him, had given express directive to engage and mobilized both local and international construction firms for roadworks in the State.

And the dutiful Works Commissioner was quick to swing into action and turned the State into a huge construction site, with serious commitment to linking the 31 Local Government Areas with good roads.

Chief Mendie Josiah, a community leader in Etim Ekpo Local Government said about Gov. Emmanuel’s strides,

“From the onset of his pre-election campaigns till when he mounted the saddle, the thoroughbred Governor, imbued with strong leadership acumen and a passion for the development of the State and its people, did promise to bring his years of experience in the public sector to bear in running the State.

“With the ‘Dakkada’ (arise) philosophy, he has succeeded in instilling a consciousness of synergy and sense of unity of purpose among Akwa Ibom people, and galvanize them into being partners in progress for the overall growth and development of the State”.

 Completed road project

The monarch, who commended the governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration for consolidating on the achievements of his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio (2007-2015), attributed the accelerated development to the synergy between the government and the private sector.

“The collaboration between government and the people of the State has paid off, given the quantum of infrastructural developments engendered by the administration in the last two years and counting”.

Even with lean resources occasioned by the dwindling oil cash which has led to a drop in revenues from the Federation Account, more than 900 kilometers of roads and 20 bridges are currently ongoing across the 31 Local Government Areas.

 Completed road project

The Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen,  listed some of the roads commissioned during the mid-term of the Governor to include the strategic 6.4km Mbiaso-Nto Edino-Ekwere Azu road (phase 1 and 2) in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

The road handled by SENYANG Construction Limited, according to local residents links the neighbouring Abia State and is expected to boost socio-economic activities between the two States.

Elated at the development, the former Deputy Governor of the State, Engr. Christopher Stephen Ekpenyong, who hails from Obot Akara Local Government, commended Governor Emmanuel, “for heeding the cries and lamentations of my people”.

“This road has been neglected by successive administrations until this present government of Udom Emmanuel. It is a good thing that this prudent manager of our resources, in spite of the hard times and the paucity of cash, has striven to make the local people feel the positive impact of governance”.

Completed road project

According to him, the strategic nature of the road linking Abia State would boost commercial activities in agricultural produce, trade, and investment between Akwa Ibom and Abia.

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“By taking developments to the people at the grassroots, the governor has succeeded in demystifying governance by making it participatory and easy to feel by the same people who voted the government into power.

“This singular act of grassroots development has given the people a fair sense of belonging in the same government they voted, and I want to urge that the administration policies and programmes should be made to remain consistent with the yearnings and aspirations of the people at all times.

Completed road project

“I want to commend the Governor because from what I see, he is not playing politics with projects and development, otherwise he would have waited till when it is another election time for him to come and distribute rice, salt, wrappers and some cash, while real development is relegated to the background.

“Politicians are always thinking of the next election instead of the next generation, but in this instance, I can sense that the current administration is people-centered, and I want to urge Udom Emmanuel to sustain the tempo because these are what would recommend him for re-election”, he advised.

In the same vein, the Village Head of Nto Edino, Eteidung Jacob Imoh, was full of praises for the Governor and the administration said, the road project in his domain would stimulate trade and other socio-economic activities in the area.

“The administration has done well by delivering the dividends of democracy to even the people at the grassroots. This road has been abandoned by governments-after-governments until this God-sent administration of Udom Emmanuel.

“The people of Obot Akara and its environs would remain eternally grateful to God and the administration for remembering us now, not only during elections”, the monarch said.

Also, the 14.1km Odoro Ikpe-Ikpe Ikot Nkon-Arochukwu road with a 10-meter span bridge constructed by Peculiar Ultimate Limited gladdened the hearts of the local residents of Ini Local Government Area.

Inyang-eyen said the acceleration of the tempo of roadworks in the State has been boosted by the partnership agreement the State government reached with the local contractors, who, according to him, have agreed to execute the jobs through “alternative funding whereby the contractors sourced for funds for government to reimburse later”.

Completed road project

Also, the Nnung Ukim-Ikono road in Ikono Local Government Area, undertaken by Hensek Nigeria Limited, a local firm is in progress in addition to over 64 internal roads ongoing in uyo metropolis and Eket Axis of the state.

The commitment of the local companies, according to works commissioner, has engendered confidence of the government on the local contractors, saying such gesture would work towards building capacities of the locals firms for more government patronage.

In the same spirit of all-round-development of Akwa Ibom, the people of Uruan Local Government and their neighbours of Itu Local Government have been thrown into wild jubilation, following the ongoing construction of Mbiatok-Eket Itam-Mbiaya-Ibiaku Uruan road.

The strategic road spanning 4.0km awarded to Trident Systems Energy Limited is expected to boost commercial activities between Itu, Uruan and the capital, Uyo.

Completed road project

Inyang-eyen, who performed the flag-off on behalf of the Governor, recalled that the road was one of the pre-election promises of the administration, and urged the youths not to be confrontational with the contractors.

Some indigenes of the area including the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr. Akan Okon and Senator Anietie Okon, a community leader in the area, hailed the commitment of the government towards alleviating the sufferings of the people.

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Urging the benefiting communities to rally support for the administration, Senator Okon said: “To whom much is given, much is also expected. What this government expects from you is support and loyalty so that more dividends of democracy would come your way”. 

Also part of the scorecard is the governor’s drive to turn the largely civil service State into an industrialized economy.

To form the fulcrum of the industrial policy our correspondent gathered is the toothpick and pencil manufacturing company at Ekom Iman in Etinan Local Government Area, which have since started production.

Others are the electric meter company at Onna Local Government Area, the coconut processing firm at Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, the syringe Production company and plans by government to dredge the Uta Ewa river at Ikot Abasi, for petroleum products to be shipped to the tank farm.

Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, ‘The Task Master’

 Emmanuel no doubt has to be the most worker-friendly governor, having been able to pay the salaries of civil servants up-to-date.

Other landmarks initiatives of the administration, especially roads at various stages of completion include the construction of the 3.5km Ikot Udom road with 15m span bridge at Ibiono Ibom Local Government; the 5km Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe-Ikot Ekpuk road in Mkpat Enin with 30m span bridge and the 5km Mkpok-Ukat road in Onna.

The interventions at the gully erosion sites along the Calabar-Itu highway by Enen Atai in Itu; gully erosion menace at the School of Nursing, Anua, Uyo, as well as the completion of the outfall and urban roads in Oron, also form part of the positive imprints in governor Emmanuel’s two-year scorecard.

Most of these roads, according to Akparawa Ephraim Inyang Eyen will help open up the state to investors.

He described the administration’s strides in the last two years plus as “superlative”, given the paucity of funds in this era of recession and enjoined well-meaning indigenes to rally round the government in its quest, to turn around the fortunes of Akwa Ibom and its people.

He gave the Governor kudos in his desire to change the fortunes of the people with the dwindling resources to fix major infrastructure including the dualization of the Uyo-Etinan road, urban roads and strategic roundabout in Eket and internal roads at Cornelia Connely College, Afaha Oku, Uyo.

Completed road project

Other interventions he listed include the construction of the Etinan-Ekpene Obom (QIC) Leprosy Hospital road, the dualisation of Etinan-Onna road with two bridges and the Ikot Ebekpo-Ikot Ebidang road in Onna, with spur to the East-West road, as well as the dualisation of Oron\Nnung Atai Eta road.

“The government has also undertaken the dualisation of the Uyo-Ndon Eyo road with two bridges and a spur to Nkana in Etinan, construction of Uyo outfall drain (phase 2) to deflood Ewet Housing, part of Osongama, Edet Akpan, up to the Tropicana area of Udo Udoma Avenue.

The construction of Awa Iman-Asong-Ikot Edim-Ikot Emem road with a spur to Onna, the construction of Writing junction-Offioro Utine-Eyekung road in Okobo, the award of contract for construction of Nnung Atai Eta-Atabong jetty road and Ikot Inyng Itung-Ekpene Ibio-Nnung Oku-Adadia beach road, would remain one of the best legacies of the administration when completed”. He highlighted.