By Grace Orok
Contrary to the wide spread belief by many Cross Riverians that the intervention of the APC led federal government in several failed federal highways in Cross River state is influenced by leaders of the party holding federal appointments, the Cross River state government has emphasized that it is the persistent effort of the state Ministry of Works that is yielding results.
This disclosure was made by the state Commissioner for Works, Engineer Dane Osim Asu, in his office, during a score card session with members of the Association of Cross River Online Journalists ACROJ.
The Commissioner, while displaying a memo written to him from the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, and signed by the Acting Director of Highways, South South, Engineer G.O. Ikebuaku, for the Honorable Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said there has been repeated correspondence between the Cross River state government under Senator Ben Ayade, through the state Ministry of Works, requesting the federal government to intervene in several of the failed federal roads in the state, leading to the present responses.
The memo with the subject:
PROPOSAL FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF INTERSECTION AT ODUKPANI JUNCTION, CONSTRUCTION OF ODUKPANI OBAN-IKOM BYPASS, REHABILITATION OF CALABAR-AKPET 1 HIGHWAY, EMERGENCY REPAIRS OF IKOM-OBUDU ROAD, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF IKOM-OBUDU ROAD, reads:
“Please refer to your submission via letter No/Ref/MOW/Com/Vol10/Vol8/158 of March 1, 2017, on the above subject matter:
“I am directed to notify you that the following actions have been taken in line with your request:
“The Ministry has commenced the process of award of contracts for the dualization of Calabar-Odukpani-Itu road which will start from Tinapa junction, through Odukpani junction and terminate at Itu bridge. This includes the intersection at Odukpani junction.
“Approval has been granted for the Highways, Designs, Roads and Bridges department to carry out an in-house design on the Odukpani junction, Ikot Obora, Akpet Central section of Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina Ala road and the 30 kilometers of Ikom-Obudu road.
“The critically failed sections at the Okom Ita and Akpet Central portions of the road have been approved for emergency repairs.
“Works are to commence immediately to ameliorate the difficulties that have been faced by the road users.
“Above is for your information.”
The Commissioner further revealed that the Federal Ministry of Works has approved 25 Billion Naira claim by the state, being the expenditure of the state government on the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state and the payment of 18.5 billion Naira has been approved but added that only 4 billion has been released to the state with an outstanding balance of 14.5 billion Naira.