By Emmanuel Nicholas Okokon
The Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road project has been the talking point of people who wish to use it in tarnishing the hard earned reputation of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
I’m writing on this in order to separate facts from lies without any prejudice.
It is on record that on the 19th December, 2011, the then Governor of Akwa Ibom State , Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio awarded a contract to Julius Berger(Nig.) PLC for the dualization of the 25 kilometres of Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road to the tune of N28,394,575,803,22k (Twenty Eight Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety Four Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Eight Hundred and Three Naira Twenty Two Kobo) (Please find attach the document titled Dualization of Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road Dated 19th December, 2011 with reference NO. GO/FGPC/S/6/VOL.XIX/1026 addressed to the Managing Director, Julius Berger (Nig.) Plc, Eastern Bye-Pass, Port Harcourt.)
Available document has it that the contract was to be completed within 24 month and 40% was paid . That is N 11, 357,830,321.29k (Eleven Billion, Three Hundred and Fifty Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty One Naira, Twenty Nine Kobo) of the contract sum which was the mobilization was fully disbursed including the balance .
Records also have it that on the 12th September, 2013, the estimated cost of dualizing the said road was reviewed and N23,516,228,394.00 (Twenty Three Billion, Five Hundred and Sixteen Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety Four Naira) was added which took the total contract sum to N51,910,804,197.22 (Fifty One Billion, Nine Hundred and Ten Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira Twenty Two Kobo) (on this, please find attach the document titled Dualization of Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road: Revised Estimated Contract Sum Dated 12th September, 2013 with reference NO. GO/FGPC/S/6/VOL.XX/153 addressed to the Managing Director, Julius Berger (Nig.) Plc. Eastern Bye-Pass, Port Harcourt), the funds fully disbursed. Note that there was no additional Job or increment in exchange rate .
The reasons necessitating the review of the contract sum from the initial N28,394,575,803.22k (Twenty Eight Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety Four Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Eight Hundred and Three Naira Twenty Two Kobo) to N51,910,804,197.22k (Fifty One Billion, Nine Hundred and Ten Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira Twenty Two Kobo) was not stated.
Similarly, on 25th July, 2014, the Akwa Ibom State Government approved additional work in respect of the dualization of the said road with the following description: (i) Section from Ch. 23+000 to city centre incl. Roundabout. (ii) flyover to the tune of N19,448,373,217.63k . (Nineteen Billion, Four Hundred and Forty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Tree Thousand Two Hundred and Seventeen Naira Sixty Three Kobo) (please find attached the document titled Dualization of Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road: (Phase111)Additional Work Dated 25th July, 2014 with reference NO. GO/FGPC/S/6/VOL.XX/234 addressed to The Managing Director, Julius Berger (Nig.) Plc. Eastern Bye-Pass, Port Harcourt. Although the sum of N71, 359, 177, 414.89 (Seventy One Billion, Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, One Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Fourteen Naira Eighty Nine Kobo) was released for the execution of the project. It is unfortunate to say that the contractor abandoned the project due to lack of funds which is to say that the funds did not get to the contractors.
During the tenure of Senator Godswill Akpabio, he hurriedly commissioned what he called the phase 1 , with 6km asphalted, 3 km with binder level , and the remaining 5 km was at earth works. Nothing was done on the other parts of the road, particularly in Ikot Ekpene LGA
From the records made available, the sum of N2.3 billion naira was set aside for the compensation of persons whose property were marked for demolition which was to begin from kilometer 4 to make way for the construction of the road down to Ikot Ekpene plaza but sadly, though the money was approved and disbursed, none of the affected persons got compensated and the construction of the said road was abandoned by the contractors because funds were not made available both for compensation and for the completion of the construction.
It is the present administration led by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel that made funds available for compensation of those whose property were marked for demolition and who again made funds available to Julius Berger PLC for the completion of the project which is why the contractors are back on site.
A careful consideration of the facts and documents attached clearly reveal that someone embezzled over 42 billion during the administration of the then Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio. So those who are lying that they left the road 1km to Plaza , and they have paid all compensation , are the people who have forced me into this research as my office demands, hence present this fact to the public , so that the public can separate truth from lies .
Governor Udom Emmanuel is not playing politics with projects that is meant for the development of Akwa Ibom State. The seeming delay in the start of the project was due to litigations by property owners who got experte motion and stopped the State Government from taking right of way .