Indigenes of Etinan, Mkpat Enin and ONNA Local Government Areas, have hailed Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his promise of driving infrastructural development as well as opening up the State for investment.
The community members who spoke in separate interviews with newsmen in the aforementioned areas on Sunday, during an inspection tour, commended the governor for the progress of work on the 29.5 Km Etinan – Ndoneyo Road with a bridge at Ekpene Ukpa by Witzchino Engineering (WE), 10.9Km Awa – Nkana alongside ancillary roads by VKS, among others.
However, construction work on the earlier mentioned roads were at different stages of completion when the inspection team led by the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-Eyen, alongside the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works; Engr John Itiat and other Engineers visited.
A commercial motorcyclist from Nkana village in Etinan Local Government Area; Itohowo Usen, said Awa-Nkana project has brought to an end the long period of hardship residents faced while accessing the road which connects Etinan and ONNA Local Government Areas.
“When I remember how much I used to spend on repairs of my motorcycle on a monthly basis because of how terrible this road was, I have no choice than continue to pray for the governor.
“Before this time, it was difficult for residents to move easily from Etinan to ONNA using this road. But, as you can see, I am taking my passenger to Mkpat Enin. This road is now a thoroughfare and let me quickly add that the progress of work done by VKS shows that the governor is ready to have the project completed soonest,” the cyclist who spoke in vernacular submitted.
Another resident who simply gave his name as Prince said the ongoing work on Ekpene Ukpa bridge is a promise kept by Governor Emmanuel.
“As you can see, work on the bridge has reached advanced stage. I am impressed with the quality of construction work too on Etinan – NdonEyo Road. The governor promised to deliver on the project and with the pace of work being done here, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, I am confident that our governor who is an Iman Ibom son, will see to the completion of this project because this road had suffered much neglect by past governments. We are grateful to Governor Udom Emmanuel” .
However, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, who also doubles as the supervising commissioner in the Ministry of Works, had expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done by contractors and however, attributed slow pace of some projects in the State to the dwindling economy which affected their funding.
“Let me be frank with you, most contractors handling our projects had done quite well until the fortune of our State in terms of funding started to dwindle.
“Most of them had come with their work schedule and every work schedule carries corresponding funding. Once you’re not able to meet the funding the schedule of work will fall short of expectations. So, most projects have been slowed down because we could not meet the corresponding funding owing to the present situation which has collapsed the economy of most powerful countries. But, I tell you, there is hope in Akwa Ibom,” Inyang-Eyen assured.
He stated unequivocally that the Emmanuel-led administration was “thinking outside the box” to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, which was unthought-of, does not hinder ongoing projects, as the state readies for a post- coronavirus era.
The governor’s Chief of Staff who stated that the present administration was committed to extending the dividends of democracy to every part of the State, specifically lauded Governor Emmanuel, for the ongoing road projects, saying, when completed, the socio-economic development of most rural areas and agrarian communities would be boosted.
Meanwhile, contractors handling various road projects were busy at different sites when supervising team went around the State for inspection.