The Commissioner of Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang, has dismissed rumours of his having political battles with former Governments in the state.
Akparawa Inyang made the disclosure when he addressed newsmen to clarify issues surrounding the revocation of the contract for the construction of Oron – Uyo road traversing Nsit Atai and Okobo Local Government Areas to East West Road earlier awarded Renaissance Construction Company.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the works Commissioner explained that, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel was personally uncomfortable with the very slow pace of work there compared to the staggering amount of money released so far to the contractor and is unprepared to entertain any further excuses for the delay of completing that road which is very critical to his administrations comprehensive plan to open up the state with super highways for business and commerce to thrive.
Akparawa Inyang, who also dismissed insinuations that the delay on the road was because it is sited in Oro nation, said Oron has benefited most with roads in the current administration as five roads already with outfall drains as five o such have already been delivered. The commissioner maintained that, the urgency with which Governor Emmanuel wants Oron developed is why he decided to terminate the contract immediately following the inability of the construction firm to commence work ten months after the contract had been awarded. He assured the people of the areas through which the road traverses that, the road can never be abandoned and committed that, speedy work will recommence there within a month and it will be delivered in time.
On why roads are mostly done in the hinterlands, the Works Commissioner argued that, Governor Emmanuel insists on reaching out to Local Governments which have been neglected overtime or received little attention in the past so as to open them up for development and to feel a sense of inclusion. He named such council areas where roads are being constructed now to include, Ini, Ikono, Oruk Anam, Mkpat Enin, Oronn Onna, Ukanafun, Etinan and Uruan.
He maintained that despite the paucity of funds, Government remains proactive and wants to have achievements to show the people because she was elected to serve and deliver services not to give excuses.
On insinuations that he condemned roads, built by former governors, Arc. Victor Attah and Senator Godswill Akpabio, the works commissioner dismissed the insinuations as fabrications from his detractors who want to needlessly score cheap political points.
Explaining why he is being attacked, the commissioner explained that, he made observation that why the IBB Avenue and Nsikak Eduok Avenue are always flooded is because there are no drainages on the roads as it’s same with Udo Udoma Avenue and some other beautiful roads. As such, he said the perennial problem of floods will continue until solution and proper drains are made for them and it is linked to the underground drainages wisely put in place by Governor Akpabio’s administration. He insisted that, this simple explanation he offered to the people appealing for patience as the current administration works on resolving the problems have been twisted by a few detractors to mean he is fighting the former governors or discrediting them.
Akparawa Inyang further added that, the world class drainage with service lanes constructed by former Governor Akpabio beginning from Goodluck Jonathan Boulevard to Obot Idim, while being strategic to the floods, was also flawed by the contractor who stopped the work at about 600 yards away from the discharge point at Obot Idim River. He argued that, except that is completed, when all drains are linked and the volume or velocity of water becomes massive, it is capable of sacking the villages of Obot Idim and Mbikpong Ikot Edim among others and it will appear as if the former governor didn’t mean well.
He said it took his personal tour of the whole length of the drainage way for him to uncover this major error and asking for it to be corrected does not amount to fighting Akpabio or Attah, and charged journalists to be fair in their reportage and avoid unnecessary heating of the polity.
The Works Commissioner said he has a commitment to maintain and entrench a proper work ethic in the ministry of works and he will not buckle under pressure or compromise that.
He reiterated the willingness of government to find solutions to all the problems bedeviling our roads and sued for cooperation and support for Governor Emmanuel so he could deliver on his promises.
On accusations that he is engaging in self enrichment, Akparawa Inyang said, the public space is not the place to seek wealth, but engaging in private business ventures like the Dangote’s and Jim Ovia’s is the proper avenue to make riches. Trying it in government he said will only bring trouble.
He commended the local contractors for their services and sacrifices in delivering timely and excellent jobs and expressed satisfaction with their work ethic and rate.
It will be recalled that, Governor Udom Emmanuel announced the revocation of the said contract at the Apostolic Church Oron field Oron Local Government Area where he attended a Church service.
Governor Emmanuel who frowned at the tardiness by the contractor on the road said that no contractor should hold the state to ransom by being unable to fulfill the deed entered into with the state government on projects earmarked for execution.