The Akwa Ibom State Government has awarded road contracts worth over N100 billion during the first six months Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration, the state Works Commissioner, Ephraim Inyang-eyen, has told PREMIUM TIMES.
Already, Mr. Inyang-eyen said the governor has received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to construct Federal Government’s roads in the state.
“The road contracts we have awarded so far are in excess of N100 billion. All our roads are world-class standard,” he told this newspaper on Thursday.
“The earth work on our roads is 200 millimeters, the stone bases are 200 millimeters, and the binders come at 60 millimeters and the asphalt wearing at 60 millimeters.
“We are also committed to regular maintenance of roads across the state. The problem with our roads in not that they are not well-built. The problem is that they are not maintained.”
While praising the former Governor, Godswill Akpabio, for creating the infrastructural base for the state, he maintained that the new government would build dual-carriageways to link every part of the state.
“When I came as commissioner, I saw that a lot had been done by the past administration in terms of road infrastructure but they were concentrated in Uyo Metropolis and in areas like Essien Udim, Abak and in Ikot Ekpene local government area,” Mr. Inyang-eyen said.
“Quite some work was done. But what I identified as lacking was that the roads were not properly linked up and because of that some localities were left apparently because of lack of funds.
“For instance in Oron area, there were not much projects there. Local government areas like Ini and Ikono did not have government presence. I can say we meet some good work on the ground.
“You know that trunk “A” roads belong to the Federal Government roads, trunk “B” are state roads while trunk “C” are local government roads. Our intervention will affect all these classes of roads.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has promised the executive governor of the State, Deacon Udom Emmanuel to go ahead with the construction of Federal road in the state and promised to make refunds on them.
“The practice is that when you have Federal Government’s approval to carry out interventions on its roads, you get refunds. We got that approval from Mr. President. As soon as we have the relevant funding, the entire trunk “A” roads in the state that are in bad will be constructed.”
On interstate and local government roads, the commissioner said a lot of work were ongoing and very soon, most of the areas which did not benefit from the previous administration would be connected by roads.
“In the last six months, we have awarded contract for the dualisation of Uyo-Etinan Road. The last administration had given out Etinan-Eket Highway but the project stalled due to lack of funds.
“The same applied to Eket-Ibeno Highway. Because these are major roads that would open up the state, the present administration has continued with those projects.
“Already, funds have been released for the contractors to return to work in Eket-Ibeno Road as well as Etinan – Eket Road.
“The governor also awarded contract for the construction of the East West Road linking Ikot Ibritam in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. It is a 30 kilometer road linking the East West Road to Ikot Ibritam.”
According to him, contracts have also been awarded for the construction of dual-carriageways from the Ibom Airport to link the East West Road in Oron and another from the East West Road to Ibaka Deep Seaport.
He said the government was working to restore the road linking Ini Local Government Area with Abia State and another major road linking the local government headquarters to Arochukwu, also in Abia State.
Mr. Inyang-eyen listed other ongoing road works in the state to include those in Ibiono Local Government Area, Oruk Anam and Eket which is one of the Senatorial headquarters in the state.
“I must admit that there was not much presence of projects in Eket in the past and that is why are working to remodel the entire Eket Metropolis. Many roads are going to be dualized with water channels that will empty into the Marina Beach. Roads are also being constructed in Onna.
“The government is also working on internal roads in Oron town to open up and give the area a face lift. We hope to take delivery of the road in January.”
He said road maintenance work have also commenced in Uyo and would be extended to every part of the state.
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