By CrossRiverWatch admin
The Cross River Chapter of the APC has accused the Governor Ben Ayade led PDP government in the state of been insensible, alleging the government has continuously lied to the people concerning the Akpabuyo road.
The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mens Ikpeme made this known in a statement in Calabar where he lampooned the government for allowing the road to wreck all sort of havoc on the people plying the route despite making up to the tune of 140 million Naira per month on the road from levies and taxes with about 400 million Naira only, required to keep the road in optimum shape.
The statement titled “CALABAR-AKPABUYO-BAKASSI ROAD; SWALLOWING UP CARS, TRUCKS AND PEOPLE” which was made available to CrossRiverWatch, added that the road is now un-motorable with attendant “negative economic, political and social impact.”
The Statement further reads “Distressed drivers and passengers have been traveling on this road that is completely bad, the swamp water that is supposed to run through the road is also stagnant. Some of these drivers sleep on this road for days. Because of the bad nature of the road, commuters are forced to pay exorbitant traveling fares. A woman gave birth on a bike because she could not be transported to a hospital on time.
“The PDP led government pretend to rehabilitate this road and claim to have secured funding to construct the road. Now, after sixteen years in office, this road remains un-repairable and un-motorable.”
According to the statement, the breakdown of funds accruing into the state coffers from the road is as follows;
Levies per truck plying the road is N12,800 = (per truck)
“Further breakdown of this amount:
N9, 300 per truck goes to state government
N1, 500 per truck goes to local government
N2, 000 per truck goes to immediate community
It is projected that a minimum of 400 trucks ply this road daily.
Taxes paid by Unicem members of staff are estimated at N29, 000.000 per month.
Therefore, 400 trucks x N9, 300 = N3, 720,000 multiply that by 30 days (30 x 3,720,000 = N111, 600,000 Monthly).
Add that to N29, 000,000 from taxes of Unicem staffs (N29, 000,000 + N111, 600,000 = N140, 600,000 Monthly).
“A sensible government should have invited a reputable engineering firm and negotiate instalmental payment for the rehabilitation of this very important road at N100, 000,000 quarterly. This road is estimated at N400, 000.000, and in a year payment could have been completed and the road motorable” the statement added.
Several calls to the line of the state chairman of the PDP, Ntufam John Okon were not taken as at press time. Also, some PDP members contacted kept mute on the issue.
Meanwhile some Cross Riverians contacted by CrossRiverWatch reacted to the allegation. “Ayade is erroneously more interested in cosmetic projects that he will use to hoodwink people rather than concentrating on projects will have instant impact in the lives of the citizens. His colleagues have commissioned roads they constructed in their short stay in office but here, Ayade cannot even maintain the roads his predecessor constructed. It is so pathetic to see the state (in which) our urban roads are now” said Kalita Joe Aruku.
Ifere Paul added that, “It is a pity that successive governments has allowed this road to decay and decompose to the level you see now. There have been countless protests by indigenes of Akpabuyo, both the young and old, women, men, and youths.
“The Cross River State government does not want to bear the cost of the repair or total fixing of the road. It is avoiding spending the monies it collects from the trucks. The question you should have asked instead is: Where is the money collected from the trucks?
“A lot of people have died while government collects money. Many miscarriages on that road as government stand aside to collect money. What is the money used for? Did they use it to buy refuse evacuation trucks? No! The whole monies are stashed away; the government is deceiving the Akpabuyo people that the evacuation corridor of the superhighway will bring them a better road. The governor should be ashamed.”
Princewill Odidi, a Cross River born management consultant based in the United States added that “Governance is not easy, especially at a time when the bulk of IGR from the state comes from that sector. While I will not make excuse for government neglect of the road, neither can I ascertain if fixing the road is state governments responsibility. I would rather opine that the companies and trucks using that road, as a matter of corporate social responsibility should come together and fix that road.
“The fact that the road is bad affects the efficiency of their delivery process. More so, the paltry sum they pay as levy cannot be compared to the huge profits they generate. Let us face facts, these companies are raping the state dry, carting away huge profits, destroying our roads beyond repair, polluting our air and environment. If the state government cannot fix the roads now, the Dangotes and Unicem can step to the table under corporate social responsibility.”
Okoi Obono-obla, who was recently appointed as the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, in an interview before his appointment was announced, said “It is crass irresponsibility, criminal and mean for government not to maintain a road that leads to an industry that is generating so much of its internally generated revenue! But I am not surprised because everything about the present government is wrong.
“The government is notoriously directionless, purposeless and rudderless. It is only good in exhibitionism and grandstanding.”
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