By Joseph Athanasius
Transportation infrastructure is a key factor for industrialization, agrees the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led government. Transportation issues and infrastructural delays can affect a state’s progress and Akwa Ibom needs much faster and efficient transportation system. Akwa Ibom state has taken certain very important decisions to provide adequate connectivity for the entire urban and rural areas within the state, and I guess perhaps, this is why transportation infrastructure investment is opened to investors, an initiative, expected to contribute to the construction of transportation infrastructure, which is indispensable for the state’s industrialization, economic growth and people’s better life.
Take the case of Udung Uko, in Oro nation, for instance, this is so vital, in that, Udung Uko, as a local government area, was created some time in 1996, then during the military regime, headed by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. Since the creation of this local government area twenty two years ago, according to record, not even a road was constructed in this area by the successive administrations. What a neglect! It is in record too, that several letters have been written by the people of Udung Uko, asking the government to come to their aid, but these requests were fallen on deaf ears.
During Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration, similar letter was written, according to the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen, yesterday, Wednesday, January 24, 2018, when he led a team of seasoned Engineers from his Ministry, accompanied also by his Permanent Secretary, Elder Effiong Essien to supervise road projects within Oro nation. Commissioner Inyangeyen and his team members could not hide their emotions, when the entire community, Udung Uko came out in their numbers to pour encomiums on the Akwa Ibom state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel with tears of joy in their eyes, a proof that #GovernorUdomIsWorking.
Replying them, Ephraim Inyangeyen said thus; “Akwaibomites are people after the heart of Governor Udom Emmanuel, he likes to hear the voice of the poor crying, in a situation, where Udung Uko was created 22 years ago, and l am told, no road was constructed in this part of the state since its creation in 1996. Today, all of you here are witnesses that Udom Emmanuel, has what I called, ‘development orientation,’ he likes to break new grounds, where others have not gone to, he likes to get to those places”.
He told the people clearly that, there was nothing like lobbying whatsoever. While explaining to the people what actually happened, Commissioner Inyangeyen said, a letter was written to Governor Udom Emmanuel, who later ordered him to come here and find out the situation. He said when he took the report back to His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel could not content it, and he quoted the Governor as saying; “But this is part of Akwa Ibom, why do they stay without road, when other local government areas have 4, 5, 6 roads, go there and made sure they have a road that will have economic value to their lives, and the result is what all of you are witnessing today”. And I tell you what?, 9.0km Secretariat road Ulliong Edikor road, flagged-off October last year, which passes through 10 villages in Udung Uko is near completion, and additional 3km is also awarded to EVOMEC Construction, who handled the project with a view to connect Udung Uko to Oron town.
Other several road projects within Oro nation were inspected, and these include, Dualization of 14.5km Airport – Okopedi road, 9.0km Secretariat road in Udung Uko, 19.0km Etebi – Enwang road with 2Nos Bridges in Mbo to mention but these three. The Honourable Commissioner for Works has expressed satisfaction over the pace of work done in most of these roads, and has advised against, sharp corners on the roads built. While briefing contractors on the danger of road with sharp corners, Ephraim Inyangeyen told them to endeavour to construct straight roads, where one could stand at a point and be able to see at least 1km distant, maintaining that, the government will not hesitate to pay compensation, wherever, there are buildings found on the right of way.
He has told the Amitec Construction and Development Limited, handling the 19.0km Etebi – Enwang road with 2Nos bridges in Mbo local government area to clean up the project speedily, particularly, the other part of the road immediately after the bridges, while coming from Mbo local government Secretariat, instructing the construction firm to commence earth work on that part of the road up to the stone base level, and promised to visit the site next week to ascertain the level of compliance. On the whole, quite interestingly, impressive work is ongoing on these road project sites, and there is no double that, #GovUdomCares.
Meanwhile, the people of Oro nation have pledged their unflinching support to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration and have promised to vote Governor Udom Emmanuel massively, come 2019 gubernatorial election.