The Honourable Commissioner overseeing the Ministry of Works, Akwa Ibom State, Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-eyen has dispelled insinuations that the state government is at war with interventionist agency, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), TheMail reports.
Inyang-eyen made this known during a press conference on Monday at the conference room of the State Secretariat Annex, Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo.
He said what is happening between the statement government and the NDDC is just a mere misunderstanding bothering on the works scope of the FG interventionist agency. He said what the state government wants is a reconciliation of the project list of the state government and the NDDC to avoid an overlap of the projects.
He also said no oil company has supported the state government in terms of counterpart funding for road construction since the governor came in in 2015.
The ONNA-born erstwhile Nigerian Customs Service officer said the dilapidated Hospital Road, Abak LGA which is said to have been over by NDDC for intervention might be re-collapse if proper work is not by the agency.
He said the hospital road will collapse in no time if there is no intervention on the ravine, control of erosion and proper control of drains. He said the respite might only be temporary if the right things are not done.
“If they are just out to pour asphalt and do culvert, the road will collapse again. I’m not a prophet of doom but I am telling you what will happen if the proper thing is not done”, said Inyangeyen.
He advised the NDDC to reach out to the state government in order to harmonize the project list in the interest of the people of the state.
“We deserve to get the very best from NDDC because we contribute the highest to the federation’s account”, he stated further.
He also dispelled rumours that Udom has abandoned projects initiated by the Akpabio administration, saying, saying government is a continuum and projects that will add value to Akwa Ibom people will not be abandoned.
The progenitor of the Transformation Initiative for the Emancipation of Ibom People also reacted to social media reports that he chased away NDDC workers at Youth Avenue, Uyo.
“They said I went to Youth Avenue and chased away NDDC contractors using thugs and my security personnel. That is not true. When you award contract, one of the basic requirements is that you must have drawing to show specifications. There is what is called technical drawing to show what the thing will look like. When the Accountant General (Pastor Andrew-Essien) was going to do thanksgiving, that road was impassible. The Ministry of Works went to create access to the church. The church requested the governor to construct that 300metres road. The road is not long. That road has been lying impassible for a whole number of years. The announcement was made on the public holiday (2nd of October, 2017). On the 3rd, people went there to put stonebase and wanted to lay asphalt without removing the unsuitable. Some people wanted us to keep quiet and allow that be done. That is deceit. It is not in the interest of Akwa Ibom and we cried out.
“We listed 595 projects to the Presidency. 595 projects abandoned by the NDDC in Akwa Ibom. The Honourable Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs came here and saw some of them (projects) with us. We are asking that these projects be completed to add value to our state. some of them are 60% completed, some of them 70%, some of them 40%. Let them complete these projects rather than awarding new contracts that may eventually be abandoned and will not add value to Akwa Ibom.
“Let me state here clearly that when (NDDC) work was going on in Ewet Housing, I went personally to inspect (just like the one ASKG is doing. It is open for anybody to inspect). The few errors I saw, I called the NDDC Commissioner from Akwa Ibom, Sam Frank. He came and we went on inspection and we saw how a contractor was trying to lay asphalt on a wet ground. We all agreed that it was wrong.
“It is wrong, absolute falsehood, for anybody to say that Akwa Ibom State Government through whatever process or the Ministry of Works is stopping any interventionist agency or any agency of the federal or state government from helping to develop our state. All we are saying, let there be a sincerity of purpose in this intervention.
“The intervention in UNIUYO (by NDDC) which started in the month of July should have been completed by now. I am talking about the access road. But I want to ask has it been completed? It was taken over from the state government (by NDDC) sometime in June. We flagged it off in May. By June when the rain started we told the Vice Chancellor to wait for the rain to be over. Before we knew it, NDDC jumped in. Uptil today it has not been completed”, Akparawa Ephraim said.
He said Governor Emmanuel is irrevocably committed to developing the state infrastructurally. “He has been doing a great job. Let’s not politicize development. Let it be on record that what should be done should be done for the greater interest of Akwa Ibom people”, he said.
He said the governor is committed to ensuring that there are access roads in all the local government areas in the state. He said in lieu of this, more roads will be flagged off for construction within the week in different LGAs of the state.
He said some of the roads done by the NDDC last year have been submerged by water, saying the state need quality jobs from interventionist agencies not haphazard infrastructures hurriedly executed for the purpose of scoring cheap political points. He said these shoddy projects have been counted for the state and the people of Akwa Ibom are not getting value for what is rightly theirs.
“For the umpteenth time we are saying with clarity, Akwa Ibom State Government is not against any interventionist agency. The interventionist agency must come here and give us value for our money. The interventionist agency must not wait for any road the government has given out and go in the middle of out and create distortion. Akwa Ibom is in need of over 3000 roads in the metropolis and the rural areas. We are saying, if they can come to the table with us and say we can give you 200 roads, we will list 200 roads and give them while we look for another 100 to battle with so that at the end of the year Akwa Ibom will have 300 roads.
His Excellency the governor is smart enough not to drive away those who have come to partner with us for development. But we don’t want it to be a social media event. We want it to be a real thing that can be touched and felt.
“I woke up one morning to see solar light in D-Line (Ewet Housing Estate) courtesy of the interventionist agency. I commend them for that. The day they come to commission it I will attend. D-Line in Ewet Housing used to be in darkness. These are the kind of things we want to see. When they do it we will give kudos because there is no competition, it should be a partnership”, the Commissioner for Works noted.
He also cautioned elders on their utterances, saying their speech should encourage unity in the state not segregation.
“I want to disabuse the minds of all our elder statesmen in Uyo that this government is not about segregation. The idea of raising the temperament of Eket Senatorial people against Uyo or Ikot Ekpene. I am irrevocably committed to the truth. I am from Eket Senatorial District. I am an Ibibio man married to an Annang woman. The same with our governor. How do you segregate yourself from me or him? These are propaganda of people who want to use something not strong enough as a reason to create division amongst us. I don’t think those divisions exists. They exist only in the minds of few who have something they are looking for but they are not getting. I don’t think we should be divided on the basis of senatorial district. It is not possible for all of us to live in Uyo and say Uyo should not have development. So it will get the a point where there is no light or road in Uyo. So how will we be able to operate in Uyo? These men should speak like elderstatesmen”, Inyang said.