Fulfilling The Promise Of Infrastructural Consolidation And Expansion
By Aniekeme Finbarr |
“We are building a state where posterity will look back to this time and say this was the golden era of our history” –Udom Emmanuel
In less than four years, Akwa Ibom State has experienced its fastest multi-sectoral boost in infrastructure. From health, education, sports, power, and transport among other sectors in the state, there has been tremendous improvements in infrastructure.
Roads have been strategically networked to provide efficient movement of goods and services around the state and to accommodate the looming influx of vehicular traffic in the state. So far, government has constructed and is constructing over 1700 kilometers of roads, and 15 bridges across the three senatorial districts.
Communities that were once cut off have been opened up. As part of the activities to mark Governor Udom Emmanuel‘s first year in office, he commissioned some of the shorter roads, a couple of them like Efiat, Mary Hanney, Anwana Esin were some of the over 6.6km internal roads with outfall drains in Oron where the entire terrain was taken out by flood as at the middle of 2015. The Information Drive In Uyo, the Ikot Udom road in Ibiono Ibom local government area, Mkpok Okat and Awa Iman roads in Onna, including the internal roads at the Cornelia Cornelly College, Uyo are some the roads we commissioned in our first year in office.
Apart from the aforementioned, the governor has also inaugurated the Eket-Ibeno road, the Nto Edino-Ekwere Azu road, with bridges in Obot Akara Local Government Area, the Ikot Usop- Ikot Edeghe – Ikot Ekpuk Road in Mkpat Enin with a 30m bridge, the Idiaba- Nda Nsit – Ikot Abasi – Nung Udoe in Nsit Atai Local Government Area, Eket – Ibeno road in Eket and Ibeno LGAs and several others.
The second taxiway is nearing completion at the Ibom International Airport to support the industrialization drive of the current administration.
The roads the government has so far constructed or intervened, cuts across the state. This is not done to massage anybody’s ego, but strictly, according to the industrial road map of the state in order to create a sustainable industrial culture. Gov. Emmanuel, has therefore, devoted a large chunk of the state’s resources to strengthen road infrastructure for a smooth industrial take off of projects in his agenda.
Such roads are littered throughout the state, all leading to proposed industrial zones. They are the 5km Mkpok – Ukat Road and the 3.5 km Awa Ikot Nkan Road with a 15m bridge, both in Onna. The Nto Edino-Ekwereazu Road in Obot Akara Local Government Area, empties into Abia state for the evacuation of finished agricultural produce. In Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, the governor has also constructed the road leading to the College of Science Arts and Science in Nung Ukim.
There is also the construction of a dual carriageway from Uyo to Etinan and from Etinan to Onna and the Ikot Ebidang Road Onna LGA, which will serve the rice farming community. The Anua – Mbak – Issiet Beach Road in Uruan Local Government Area is another case of taking infrastructure to where it is needed most. The Beach Market in Adiadia, also in Uruan, is an income spinner to the people and government of the state.
The volume of trade on that route is bound to increase in leaps with the completion of the road as traders and other users of the market will be able to ferry their goods with ease in and out of the area. Another road under construction is the Idiaba- Nda Nsit – Ikot Abasi – Nung Udoe in Nsit Atai Local Government Area. It is another milestone in the road infrastructure development policy of the Gov. Emmanuel administration. It will serve as a quicker route for travellers from the Ibom International Airport to Eket and Ikot Abasi axis of the state, who now have to come to Uyo from the airport before going back to their bases. Oron Federal Constituency is grateful to the governor for his bold attempt to fix the road infrastructural deficiency in the area through the provision of underground drainage along Effiat lane to arrest the devastating flood that was about submerging the area.
The Ibom Super highway, 55.1kms has innumerable benefits. Apart from serving as the gateway for the movement of cargos from the Ibom Seaport to the state and other parts of the country, it will also serve as an evacuation corridor for goods and services from the coastal industrial city to other parts of Africa, especially landlocked West African countries like Mali, Chad and Benin Republic.
Other road projects include: the 9.1km road along Ikot Ebekpo-Ikot Ebidang road, Onna LGA, Ikot Ekaide-Ikot Okoro-Ikot Ibritam-Ekeffe-Ikot Akpan road, the dualization of 28km Uyo- Oron road down to the East West road, and several others. Udung Uko Local Governemnt Area which did not have a major road since creation now has a 9km Secretariat – Uliong Edikor – Udueta road to which an additional 3.1km is being linked to Oron Local Government Area. Construction is ongoing on the 3.5km Ring Road II from the dead end of Udo Udoma avenue through Atan Offot to link up Abak road. In other areas, there are about four direct interventions in Abak, 16 in Eket and about 32 between Uyo and Ibesikpo Asutan, amongst numerous others.
To further expand infrastructure, Mr Udom Emmanuel has commissioned a 40 apartment residential estate for the expatriates that are manning the key aspects of the Ibom Specialist Hospital ‘s operations. That is in addition to constructing a brand new 300 bed capacity block the Dr Ann Ward Gynecology block at the St Luke’s Hospital Anua including the rehabilitation of the Pediatric and male blocks of the hospital.
Also, old structures and outdated equipment have been replaced with new state of the arts ones. Secondary health facilities like the General Hospitals in Etinan, Ikono, Ituk Mbang, Ikot Okoro, Eket and other locations across the state are today wearing a massive facelift at various stages of completed and on going work. The physical structure aside, supply of equipment to the hospitals has been another area of government emphasis. 25 of the 100 containers of medical equipment procured from the United States of America have been supplied and disbursed in the state to hospitals.
Consequently, functional theatres in the state as well as the newly constructed ones now have modern theatres better than most in the country.
A modern state secretariat complex to supplement the existing state secretariat has been built to improve working conditions of the state’s workforce. It comes with a four storey office edifice with 600 m floor area and three access lifts, mechanical workshop and staff clinic.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has also provided enabling environment for development of residential estates for prospective investors.
The governor in his wisdom has also opened up some areas in the State for industrial and commercial growth, thus, constructing a good number of roads in such areas.
The 5km Mkpok – Okat Road and the 3.5 km Awa Ikot Nkan Road with a 15m bridge, both in ONNA Local Government Area, takes any visitor to the world-class Syringe Manufacturing Company and Metering Factory. The Ikot Usop – Ikot Edeghe – Ikot Ekpuk Road in Mkpat Enin with a 30m bridge will serve the proposed Coconut Plantation and Refinery in Mkpat Enin, while the Odoro Ikpe – Itu Mbonuso Road will not only open up Ini Local Government Area, but will also serve as the evacuation route for the rice farm and rice processing industry in the area. Still in Ikono/ Ini Federal Constituency, the governor has also inaugurated the road leading to the school of Arts and Science in Nung Ukim, a 4.6Km road.
There is also the construction of a dual carriageway from Uyo to Etinan and the Ikot Ebidang Road Onna LGA, which will serve the rice farming community. The Anua – Mbak – Issiet Beach Road in Uruan Local Government Area is another case of taking infrastructure to where it is needed most. The Beach Market in Adiadia, in Uruan, is an income spinner to the people and government of the state.
Oron Federal Constituency is grateful to the governor for his bold attempt to fix the road infrastructural deficiencies in Oron, Okobo, Mbo and Udung Uko as the areas are witnessing ongoing construction of roads and highways.
As a mark of sincerity of purpose and commitment to the realization of the Ibaka Deep Seaport and Industrial City project, work is ongoing 36.7km super highway that will traverse communities in Upenekang, Ibeno –Esit Eket to Mbo Local Government Areas. The proposed highway, handled by Ebla Construction Company, will be a 12-lane road of six lanes on each side. Four of the lanes will be medial speed lanes with a toll gate, while the other two, on either side will serve as service and exit lanes into the surrounding communities.
Other road projects include: the 9.1km road along Ikot Ebekpo – Ikot Ebidang road, Onna LGA, Ikot Ekaide – Ikot Ibritam – Ekeffe – Ikot Akpan road, the dualization of 28km Uyo – Oron road down to the East West road, 6.6km road in Atan Offot, Uyo, Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan Road (opposite Mboho) Uyo.
Roads in Uyo village that have been commissioned by the governor include: Asutan Street, Bassey Attah Street, Mbiakong Street, Ebong Street, Ebong Lane, Effiong Udo Akpan. Others include: Secretariat Annex/ Believers Assembly Road, 8.5Km Nduetong Oku-Ibiaku Uruan-Ekit Itam Road with 40m span bridge and a spur in Itu/Uruan LGA, 9km Mbiaya Uruan –Ita Uruan- Mbiakong Uruan Road with 60m span bridge and a 14.83Km road in Esit Eket, as well as several others.
There is also the Obio Akpa campus of the Akwa Ibom State University, in Oruk Anam, where six major projects commissioned by the governor include: a Digital Language Library, a commercial farm palm oil mill, a commercial farm feeds mill, vegetable screen house, Ultra Modern Mass Communication Studios and a magnificent Arts Theatre. The entire stretch of internal and access roads in the Obio Akpa campus are under construction complete with side drains.
The College of Education, Afaha Nsit, Nsit Ibom Local Government is recording a massive face lift, as access and internal roads are in advanced stages of construction. Governor Emmanuel is committed to creating a conducive atmosphere for learning by boosting infrastructure in the tertiary institutions.
The ultra modern Administrative Block in Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden was commissioned by Governor Udom Emmanuel and the construction of internal and access Roads have commenced in the Permanent site of AKSU in Mkpat Enin. The University of Uyo just got her first Arts Gallery building courtesy of the first family to honour the memory of Late Prince Bernard Sampson Idiong and Professor Stella Idiong, parents of Her Excellency, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel.
All these fine achievements have come in 3 years. It is a signpost to what Akwa Ibom State would be in 8 years of superior performance. It is trite to say that indeed Governor Udom Emmanuel is working.