Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 12 February 2015 | 5,439 times
The state of the Etinan – Eket highway in Akwa Ibom State has been described as “very deplorable” and “a silent death trap.”
Motorists and community leaders plying the highway told correspondents who were on a fact-finding tour of the State Government-owned projects in Eket Senatorial District on Monday, that “the road has remained in that condition even before the present State Government awarded contract for its rehabilitation some years ago.”
The chairman of Afaha Atai Village Council in Eket Local Government Area, Chief Samuel Etti, told the visiting correspondents that the community was “not grateful to the state administration” over the abandonment of the road, “despite its economic importance to the people and the state government, as an oil bearing area.”
Chief Etti, who also decried the abandonment of the Eket – Ibeno and Ibeno Terminal road projects, however, noted that the contracts for the rehabilitation of the roads were awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation (CCECC).
He, however, admitted that “up to 45 internal roads projects were done in Eket” by the present state government, while the reconstruction of Etebi – Eket road was on-going.
The village council chairman appealed to the Godswill Akpabio administration to “make good its promise” and rehabilitate the moribund Qua Still Mill Industry, as well as establish cottage industries in Eket “to discourage the disturbing migration of youths” from the area.
When contacted, the Project Manager of CCECC in Eket, Engr. Wang, who was represented by his Human Resources Manager, Mr. Solomon Mathew, denied the claim that the company had abandoned the road projects. He pointed out that “work on the 19.5-kilometre Eket – Ibeno road with four-number bridges and the 23.3 kilometre Etinan – Eket road with three-number bridges, are still in progress.”
The Human Resources Manager could not disclose whether the State Government owed the construction company.
“Over 300 workers are still working on sites; therefore, no construction equipment is parked. The Eket – Ibeno road is at the 30 per cent level of completion. There has been no stood off of our workers. Few of the workers only resigned on their own,” Mr. Mathew said, adding: “CCECC is fully owned by the federal government of China.”
News Express observed the construction equipments were lying idle where they were parked at two of their settlement sites, including Edebok community in Eket.
•Photo shows bad road.
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