The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly Tuesday slammed Governor Udom Emmanuel over what it described as poor quality of roads across the state.
The Assembly bluntly told the governor that roads constructed by his administration will not stand the test of time despite huge funds allocated for the construction of roads in the yearly budget.
Members of the relevant committee in-charge of the matter led by Mr. Mark Esset, Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, revealed that “we have gone out on inspection across the 31 Local Governments, but sadly, most roads constructed by the government are in deep deplorable condition”.
Esset said it was rather unfortunate that most of the roads constructed by the present administration were wearing off even before the expiration of Emmanuel’s tenure in office.
The committee confronted the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen, when he appeared before the House’s panel to defend the budget for his Ministry as captured in the 2020 budget.
‘I have taken a case of nine Local Government Areas. So far, out of the 57 constructed by this administration, about 97 have failed according to statistics. Maybe, they were made to be trunk ‘A’ road but now turned to be trunk ‘C’.
Mark Esset, Chairman of the Local Government Committee, lamented that the state government was in the habit of hiring inexperienced contractors to fix Local Government roads.
He said: “You bring inexperienced construction companies to construct Nsit Atai roads. And the roads, instead of improving are getting worse. This is unacceptable; tell those construction companies to leave Nsit Atai roads.
“Whatever we are putting on the ground should not only last between 2015 and 2023, it should be beyond the lifespan of this administration; it should stand the test of time because in Akwa Ibom we should not only plan for today, we should plan for the future”.
In the same vein, Mr. Victor Ekwere, member representing Mkpat Enin state constituency disclosed that; “The Awa-Ukam road was commissioned barely two months on May 29, 2019, but it is now a total mess. I have been receiving calls and I have gone to check the road myself; indeed, it is a real mess.
However, the Works Commissioner blamed the poor condition of the Awa-Ukam road to emergency measures adopted in fixing the road during the recent of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, adding that the problem emanated out of what he described as “intermitted construction of the road”.
He added that the contractor could not effectively fix the road because of the consistent rainfall that has impeded work on government road projects in the state, even as he blamed some desperate contractors for collecting funds without executing projects.
“Government will not lose money on that road. No contractor will leave this state with Akwa Ibom money,” he vowed.