Concern is growing over the state of federal projects in Akwa Ibom as the good governance tour led by Labaran Maku, the information minister, will soon arrive in the state soon.
Among the projects that are in deplorable conditions are the East-West Road which passes through four local government areas of Ikot Abasi, Onna, Eket and Oron as well as the Eket-Ibeno road which has continued to attract attention in recent weeks.
According to Akwa Ibom South senatorial district assembly, a group of opinion leaders in the area, the slow pace of work and shabby handling of some federal projects have become worrisome as repeated assurances have not translated to any meaningful progress on the projects.
“The haphazard execution of the roads, notably the East–West Road, and the Eket – Ibeno road has made it impossible for economic and social activities between communities affected by the re-construction of the projects,’’ the group said.
They expressed doubts over the completion of the Akwa Ibom section of the East – West Road before December 2014 as scheduled.
“We doubt very seriously the possibility of attaining this promise on this stretch of road which traverses Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, Onna, Eket, Nsit Ubium, Urue Offong Oruko, Okobo and Oron in Akwa Ibom State. Kindly take a look at the proposed Bye-pass where work has not started and the Qua Iboe River Bridge being constructed at snail speed.
“On the Eket Ibeno Road, they maintained that the road which links the operational base of Mobil Producing Nigeria with the rest of the state has been in a sorry state for the past two decades, and despite the fact that contract for its reconstruction having been awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, the road still remains a perpetual death trap.
“In view of this we believe that the Good Governance Tour currently is a step in the right direction, as this exercise affords the Federal Government the opportunity to have inspected projects across the countr and thereby address the challenges associated with the implementation of projects.
Making a case for the terminal date of the East-West Road, the Akwa Ibom South elders wanted an extension from Uya Oron to Oron Beach to boost the commercial activities of the ancient Coastal city of Oron which has been hampered by the poor stretch of the road from the Oron Beach to the other parts of the state.
The elders also advocated for an intervention in the moribund inland water jetty that has been neglected by successive governments in the Oron River. This jetty according to them could easily be utilised to re-establish water transportation between Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
On the abandoned NTA Channel 39 Eket, they maintained that the project which commenced sometime in 2001 as part of the Federal Government’s Rural Broadcasting Programme was meant to start in June 2003.
“The building was completed, transmitters installed and generators provided but the station has not been commissioned ten years after completion.
“We strongly suggest that the minister should find time to visit this project of his ministry and use his good office to ensure the smooth take-off of this viable media outfit, which could be of immense importance to the transformational leadership of the president, as well as sensitise the people as at when due.”
The coordinators drawn from the area include Amaette Ntuk for Ikot Abasi, Bassey Essien for Eket and Okon Essang.
ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, UYO