ExxonMobil Corporation has contributed eight billion naira to the construction of Eket-Ibeno dual carriage way in Akwa Ibom, the oil giant’s Media and Communications Manager, Ogechukwu Udeagha, said last Thursday.
Udeagha was reacting to call by the Akwa Ibom State House Committee on Finance and Appropriation that ExxonMobil should bear 70 per cent cost of the road.
The total cost of the dual carriage way from Eket to Ibeno, spanning a distance of 39 kilometres is N24.9 billion.
Udeagha said that ExxonMobil had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the immediate past administration to support the project by providing 30 per cent funding.
“Our decision to enter into an MoU with the state government to pay up to 30 per cent of project cost was a way of encouraging other stakeholders to support the project.
“The Joint Venture’s contribution to the project was paid upfront as at Jan. 2014 as requested by the state government,” Udeagha disclosed.
The ExxonMobil ’s manager noted that the MoU had forbidden the Akwa Ibom Government from requesting for other contributions from the company for any reason whatsoever for execution of the project.
He said that the company had been contributing N230 billion annually to Akwa Ibom Government as 13 percent derivation.
According to him, the company has played a significant role in the overall development of Akwa Ibom as a corporate organisation.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Usoro Akpanusoh, had observed that the eight billion naira contributed by ExxonMobil as counterpart funds for the project was grossly inadequate.
“If ExxonMobil desires to be fair to the Akwa Ibom government and its people, it ought to have taken up 70 per cent funding for the project,” Akpanusoh said.
Akpanusoh, who is representing Esit-Eket/Ibeno Constituency on PDP platform, led other members of the committee to inspect the road project.