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UKPOM ROAD CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN SOON – UYO LG CHAIR ASSURES

Priscilla Akpanettot

Measures have been put in place by the State Government to construct the Ukpom/Ediene Ikot Obio Imo Road, after it was long neglected.

The Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo gave the hint during an interaction with the foremost Akwa Ibom online community, COOPA, in his office on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.

The Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) had met with the Chairman as part of their annual engagements with relevant stakeholders to

discuss matters pertaining to economic development and progression.

According to Dr. Udo, the Ukpom Road, from Pepsi junction (by Idoro Road) has been awarded to a contractor and side drains have been constructed on it, awaiting the end of the rainy season.

“The contractors are on site. We hope that the rains will give the contractors a chance to continue the work. It is just a matter of time and it will be completed”, he assured.

Speaking on the

survival of the local economy in the post subsidy removal era, the Chairman remarked that

subsidy removal would have taken a gradual process, instead of happening the way it did.

“Perhaps, the government would have fashioned out ways to ameliorate the unexpected suffering of the people before subsidy removal. What we have now is that the high cost of transportation is not even commensurate with wages and other spendings. The suffering is overbearing, because we didn’t have certain things on ground to take care of the removal”, he said.

On his part, the Chairman informed that his administration has been consciously committed to bettering the lots of the people by putting in place modalities to ease the effect of the harsh economy on them.

“We have graded rural roads around Ikono Ibom and Etoi Clans. We have fixed power in some communities. For instance, if you go to Winners Chapel at Ikot Ebido, we upgraded the transformer at that axis from 300KVA to 500KVA and it is working for that community.”

“We have done a lot in the Education Sector. Recently, we paid bursary to 392 students across 13 institutions. We needed to show that we recognise the students’ community. We have reactivated the Students’ Worldwide body in Uyo and paid Union dues to allow the students go home with their bursary in block. We also give regular assistance to our students.”

“We have done medical outreach in collaboration with Vision Africa and the focus was on eye challenges. Medicated glasses and drugs were given free and beneficiaries didn’t pay a dime”, he said.

When asked of the secret behind his smooth management of the Council vis-a-vis his success, Dr. Udo gave the answer to be effective collaboration between the three arms of his government.

“I run a collaborative administration. That is why I haven’t had issues with my Councillors and Supervisors. We get them involved and cross-fertilize ideas. It is not just during budget proposals. Regularly, I sit with my Councillors and it’s exciting. It is not a one-man show, so you allow the Councillors have a feel of government too.”

“I don’t implement policies without consulting with my people. I dialogue with my Exco and Councillors, while they go back, interact with the people and get to know their needs, then we put them down in a document and get things working.”

“I don’t neglect the Civil Service structure. We also invest in staff welfare. We have a deep relationship with our stakeholders and accord them all the recognition they deserve. So there is a balanced equation”, he stated. He noted.

“The local government level is where you learn leadership. I have the integrity that I came into government with. I don’t want to hear that I deprived anyone of anything. That is why I make sure that things are sorted out well.”

While speaking on the impact of his administration on the people, he reeled out his achievements within and outside the Council, adding that his last days will be focused on completing what needed to be finished, as well as the provision of a functional Law Library for the Council.

“When we got into Council, our first duty was to restore public power supply to the Council. We fixed the power substation in the Council and also acquired a 100KVA generator”.

“Today, we have a Primary Health Centre at Uruan Street set up by the Council and it is up and running.

Much more, the Council boss told the online publishers of his plans to extend the electricity in the Council to the health center next door, to help them arrest their protracted lighting challenge.

He further announced his administration’s plan for a tax cut for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Uyo, to help them survive the economic downturn; while informing that a register had been opened for entrepreneurs in the Local Government Area to be documented and supported in due course.

Highlights of the interaction was an assessment of the lighting project from the Council to the Health Centre.

The 2023 COOPA CHAT series is themed: “NIGERIA IN POST SUBSIDY REMOVAL ERA: GOVERNANCE AND CITIZENS ENGAGEMENT”

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