Iniobong Ekponta, Uyo
As Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel continues the business of governance, after the legal battles that trailed his election, the administration has set the tone for an emerging industrialized economy tailored towards job and wealth creation for the people.
To entrench a sustainable industrial culture and values, the Deacon Emmanuel-led government has devoted large chunk of the State’s resources to strengthen the road infrastructure for smooth industrial take-off in the shortest possible time.
Currently, the State has become a huge construction site with the administration mobilizing several construction and engineering firms including Nigerpet Ltd, Wizchino Eng Ltd, CCECC Nig Ltd, Benest Technical Services, Verini Construction Nig Ltd, Ronesans Construction Nig Ltd, Hensek Integrated Services Ltd, VKS Construction Ltd and others- to different locations across the State.
These include the reconstruction and remodeling works on some roads, strategic roundabouts, junctions and drainage facilities in Eket; emergency intervention works on the collapsed Oron Road and the rehabilitation\remodeling of roads, roundabouts and Junctions in Uyo metropolis.
The government has specifically drafted Wizchino Engineering Nigeria Ltd to Oron Local Government Area, with instructionss to ensure the completion of urban roads that will change the face of Oro nation.
Besides, works are ongoing on the dualization of the 23.4 km Eket-Etinan Road with three bridges; dualization of the 28 km Uyo-Oron Road stretching to the Airport Road-Okopedi to the East\West Road (phase 1), covering 14.5 km.
Others are the 6.41 km Nto Edino –Ekwere Azu Road with two bridges spanning 45 metres in Obot Akara Local Government; Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe-Ikot Ekpuk Road with 30 metres span bridge in Mkpat Enin; Mkpok-Okat (5km) in Onna; Ikot Udom Road (3.5km) with 15 metres span bridge in Ibiono Ibom and the 1km Awa-Ikot Nkan Road in Onna (phase 2).
And with the tempo of works high at various sites, the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-eyen, has given assurance that the administration would work assiduously to deliver on its pre-election promises.
Barring some hitches and other associated problems, no fewer than five road projects, according to the Commissioner, would be commissioned at the turn of Deacon Emmanuel’s one year in office, on May 29, 2016.
The strategic importance of road infrastructure to the industrialization policy of government, the Commissioner noted, has further reinforced the administration’s resolve to sort out all issues concerning contracts on the roads as well as compensation to property owners.
To meet up with the May 2016 target, he warned contractors against complacency and urged them to deploy their expertise – to ensure the roads were completed and delivered as planned.
Besides, Inyang-eyen, who emphasized that government has compensated property owners affected by the development plans of the State government by about 90 percent, tasked community leaders and youths to see government projects as their own.
According to him, “the pain you are feeling today is only temporary. Government is determined more than ever before to take development to the grassroots so that live will be meaningful even to the rural dwellers”, enjoining them to support the administration’s drive to change the face of the State for the better.
In the same vein, the Deputy Chief Whip of the State House of Assembly, Otuekong Nse Essien, has envisaged a new Akwa Ibom founded on industrialization and strong private sector economy in the next few years.
His strength of argument stems from the foundation of industrialization laid by the administration in the areas of roads and ground-breaking ceremonies for the establishment of companies in the State.
He stressed that “road projects remain a major factor in Udom Emmanuel’s industrialization policy” and solicited for more cooperation from the people for the policies and programmes of government to thrive.
In his opinion, “the government is committed to turning around the fortunes of the State and its people by changing the current civil service status of the State to an industrialized economy through diversification in order to create jobs and wealth for the people”.
He, therefore, admonished the people to protect what he called strategic government facilities as development inches closer to the grassroots.