By Emmanuel Nicholas|
Nigerians are skeptical as to whether Akwa Ibom State can really join the league of developed states of the world, under Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration with its industrialization drive. However, the Akwa Ibom State , the Governor has, with his resolute determination, proved that yes, indeed, Akwa Ibom state can become that cynosure of all eyes by the virtue of the development strides of the present administration in the state. Many, who understand the Governor’s visions, will testify that he used to strut his stuff wherever providence positioned him for service.
He is of the school of thought that; “man owes humanity without questioning to leave every environment better than he met”, according to Sir Abraham Lincoln. No wonder Governor Udom Emmanuel relied on what can best be described as a rejuvenating commitment to quality service delivery. His philosophy in life is that, he did not just exist only for the purpose of numbering up the crowd, but to make positive impact.
Infarct, he has made, not just an impact, but he has done exploit. He is believed to have pursued a worthy course by his deeds. Mr Udom Emmanuel has passed a message of optimism that, Akwa Ibom can be transformed, despite the current economic reality, challenges and peril of thorny existence. He has proven to Akwa Ibom people that, he is the good choice for the job of administering the state Nevertheless; we are all witnesses that Akwa Ibom is fast gaining a reputation, given the patriotic contributions to the state development
Transportation infrastructure universally is reputed to be the first and the most essential development enabler, followed by power (electricity). In view of this fact, one of the preoccupations of the present administration has been first thing, first by way of putting the essential enablers in place. Quite interestingly, this policy drive on the part of government has become one of the potency in job creation in the state.
Prior to 2015, the delivery of infrastructure by the successive governments in the state did not meet the capacity of launching full-fledged industrialization programm, as a good number of roads particularly, in the rural areas of the state were in their deplorable condition, roads which supposed to serve as link for the evacuation of locally made goods and/or agricultural produce to the urban centers in the event of industrialization buzz were not build-in into the mainstream of the state’s development master plan. So the ever-increasing demand for state’s industrialization could have been jeopardized but for the new strategy.
However, against this backdrop, the new approach was to efficiently invade the state with this essential enabler; connecting all the rural areas to the urban cities in the state through a new approach of funding as it is practiced, the world over, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework, and the marginalized rural areas in all the local government areas in the state today have been linked up with at least 20km of road each, and these roads are economic roads that have began to add economic value and stimulate socio-economic activities of the members of these communities.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has vowed to keep to the minimum standard, never to divert any road construction work for any political reason. According to the Commissioner, these rural roads will connect the rural communities with urban centers. And the interesting thing this that, before electioneering campaigned in 2019, all marginalized local government areas in the state will at least boost of two (2) roads each.
Udom’’s belief in the success of Akwa Ibom State supersedes personal consideration, and this is evident in the numbers of government awarded road contracts, both the completed and ongoing projects spreading all over the state. This perhaps, account for his zeal and passion for the success of his -led government.
For instant, in a Television show, I listened to the Chairman of the Appropriation Finance Committee, in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Honourable Usoro Akpausoh, testifying about the Governor’s commitment in building first class roads in the state, in terms of magnitude and volume. And as a result, he (Akpausoh), commended the state government for a job well done. How does he know this? According to him, he accompanied the Commissioner for Works for an inspection tour, and he was marveled by what he saw. Over 28 projects are ongoing 13 was commissioned in his first year in office , whereas about 9 are already completed and ready for commissioning also during the 2ndanniversary of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration, and the 18th anniversary celebration of uninterrupted democratic rule in Nigeria.
Interestingly, the state has made a remarkable improvement in virtually every sector of the economy particularly, in the area of sophisticated road network across the thirty one local government areas of Akwa Ibom state, today, Akwa Ibom is counted among the few states in the federation with good and well paved roads; communities and local government areas that before now were cut off as a result of deplorable roads have been linked to the rest of the state, and more and more communities have been linked up in the last two years.
Like I said earlier, a good number of road projects are currently ongoing, and about 9 are completed waited commissioning this May, some of these roads are but not limited to the following; the 6.0km Ikot Usop – Ikot Edeghe – Ikot Ekpuk Road with a 30m span bridge in Mkpat Enin local government area, handled by the Benest Technical Service (BTC), the 6.41km Nto Edino – Ekwere Azu road with 2 No. 45m span bridges in Obot Akara local government area, handled by Seyang Construction Company, which will ensure undisrupted normal life of the two states that plied the road for socio-economic purposes, that is, Akwa Ibom and Abia communities, the 4.6km School of Art and Science road, Nung Ukim, in Ikono local government area, handled by Hensek constructing firm.
There a wonderful work done in the 12.742km Awa Iman – Asong – Ikot Edim – Ikot Emem road with 2 No. bridges in Onna and Mkpat Enin, handled by the VKS Nigeria Construction, the 29.2km dualized Etinan – Ndon Eyo road with 2 No. bridges and spur from Mbioto Ekpene Ituen – Ikot Akpan Ishiet junction, handled by Wizchino Engineering Limited, the 19.5km dualized Eket – Ibeno road, a dual carriage road that has linked Eket township to Ibeno, where the ExxonMobil is situated, handled by CCECC, as well as the 6.1km Atan Ofot road, handled by Nigturks Civil Technologist Limited.
Others include the 6.0km Idiaba Nda Nsit – Nung Udoe road, handled by Cossel Construction Company, the 13.5km dualized Airport Okopedi Oron road by East-west road, phase II, that is, from Airport, to Okopedi, and then down to Uya-Oron, handled by CCECC, the Uyo – Etinan road, from Ikot Oku Ikono; handled by Julius Berger, the dualized Eket – Etinan road with 3 No. bridges; the Etinan – Ndon Eyo road with spur from Mbioto – Ekpene Ituen – Ikot Akpan Eshiet, the 14.1km ikpe Ikot Nkon – Obotme – Arochukwu road in Ini LGA, handled by Peculiar Ultimate Construction Limited, the10.9km Awa – Nkanga road and 2.3km Ancillary roads in Awa Village in Onna.
The 3.5km dualized Ring Road II, from Aka road by Udoudoma junction, which is expected to terminate at Abak road, followed by the 9.5km dualized Ring Road III, from Aka road by Nung Oku, expected to cut through Oron road and terminate at Nwaniba. In Ika LGA, there is this economic road, leading to Azumini in Abia State, it is about 15km Etim Ekpo – Ika road, expected to engage the two states in socio-economic activities, such that will generate income to the two states, and enhances socio-economic activities of the members of these communities.
In subsequent, the 10.55km Abak Ifia road, this is between Obot Akara and Ikot Ekpene LGAs. However, the first phase of this project is 4.2km. The road actually, traversed Abak Ifia – Ikpe Mbak Eyop – Ikot Abia Osom – Nko road with spur in Ikot Ekpene and Obot Akara, the 55.1km Ibaka Super Highway, which will open way to economic explosions, the first ever state-of–the-art ‘Cable Bridge’ in Etinan Local Government Area. The ‘Cable Bridge’ is the first of its kind in the whole West Africa, and will be pactted with 24/7 lighting among other road projects. Construction firms handling these projects are companies, whose jobs are known for world class standard.
Apart from delivering well paved roads, the completed roads are beatified with planting of flowers, grasses, as well as fruits and decorate trees where necessary. Waters are taken twenty meters away from the main road, wherever there are culverts, with proper alignment, as the electric polls are relocated with standard recommended height.
Every house under the high tension is pull down, as the state government does not want buildings under the high tension.
Quite interestingly, the Governor has discouraged the practice of building roads in Akwa Ibom with sharp bending. According to him, sharp bending on roads is disheartened with its attendant disparaging consequence on road users particularly, those drivers who drink. He however promised in his administration, as the State Governor will do away with such practices for the safety of Akwa Ibom citizenry.