By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The Cross River state government has said that the administration of Senator Ben Ayade is not just concerned about the Signature Projects but about the development of every nook and cranny of the state.
The state Commissioner for Works, Dane Osim Asu, said this recently while interacting with members of the Association of Cross River Online Journalists ACROJ in his office in Calabar.
He said the governor has 22 low hanging projects across the state. Though he did not list all the 22, he however gave a run down of some of the projects.
Below is the details of the interaction.
“Come down to what the state government has done, through Ministry of Works in rural and urban cities which is the main activity of the state government, I want to use this medium to address the State and Cross Riverians that the government of Senator Professor Benedict Ayade has done remarkably marvelous in this direction.
We have 22 low hanging projects, by low hanging projects; I mean projects that are one and half, two kilometers, that cut across all the 18 Local government areas. And I will go ahead to name them.
In Akpabuyo Local Government Area, we have the Akpabuyo Road into Arthur Javis University, awarded to Mr. Sunami, that is the contractor, for a hundred and forty six million and that road is ongoing and you know the life span of a road of that magnitude will be 180days, that is 6 months and we are looking at that.
Now you come to Odukpani Local Government Area in Usung Esuk, we have awarded a project for one and half kilometer stretch that is undergoing construction. Mobilization has been paid, contractors are on site, is Usung Esuk road in Odukpani for a hundred and thirty million and that is one and a half kilometer stretch of road. Mobilization has been paid, the contractor has been working very heavily, seriously and he is at the second state of being mobilized the second tranche of payment and that is for Odukpani local government area.
In Akamkpa local government area, the people of Mmobuyi, Mmobuyi is in Ojuk clan. These people, if you get there, I have been there and it was a track road from Akansoko, entering into Mmobuyi through to Camp two, getting into the UNICEM road, all these entire communities, people that are living along that stretch of road were as if there were in the Cameroons. There was actually no road and that is the local government, the village, the community of Mrs. Grace Eyo Ita and the son, Honorable George O’benechie. That road has been awarded, direct labor by Ministry of Works, for the sum of one hundred and ten million for 12 kilometers stretch of road. The grading has been completed. We have only tried to withdraw because of the heavy rains that are coming in so that we don’t just finish now, it has been completed, so we are reserving some little energy to ensure that when the dry season comes, we will just go and just do some surface dressing and make it passable, but it has been completed as we speak to you.
Now, if you go to Biase Local government area, the stretch of road from Akpet Central which is the local government headquarters, Akpet Central to Ugbem crossing to Eton Owan and entering into Ereyi farm settlement, that stretch of road is 23 kilometers and that road was awarded for grading. As I speak with you, clearing and grading and compaction have been accomplished for 11 kilometers from Akpet Central to the river. Our machines are crossing the road now to complete the other stretch of 12 kilometers. You can go and investigate. I have given you the road and that stretch is hundred and ninety million Naira.
We have also awarded a contract to Ugep urban, one and a half kilometer stretch of road for a hundred and twenty million Naira. I would have been telling you the names of the contractors but you will need to find out. But I am just telling you the locations for you to affirm. In Ugep urban, contract was awarded for one hundred and twenty million, ongoing.
In Obubra local government, we have also awarded contract for Ofat – Ababene road which is an age long abandoned road. And that road is one hundred and thirty six million which has been so awarded and the contractor has been mobilized to site.
You come to Boki local government area, you know this is a local government that is so peculiar. Why do I say peculiar? The local government has been divided into two since its creation, Boki East and Boki West and there is no access. So citizens of that local government area who want to go to the local government headquarters will have to pass through Obanlikwu Obudu, Obanlikwu, Bekwara, Ogoja, then come to Ekpogrinya and then enter Okundi, the same way for people from Boki West trying to come to Boki East will rather come to Ikom local government and go to Boki or go to Ogoja, Bekwara, Obudu and enter Obanlikwu and then enter Boki. This has been the bane since the creation, the inception, the origin of Boki local government area. So it takes an Ayade to ensure that that stretch of road is awarded. 27 kilometers stretch of road, awarded for the cost of four billion Naira. Mobilization of thirty percent has been given, direct labor to Ministry of Works and it is ongoing. That stretch also has to do with the failure of the bridge so the local government headquarters has been inaccessible in the last ten years because of the failure of the bridge that was constructed. Ayade government has awarded that project back to the old contractor through RUDA. This Ministry has done that award, the bridge construction is ongoing and anytime from now, I will be commissioning it.
So, the road is ongoing, the bridge construction is going on for the Boki East West road. The road has been awarded and hundred percent of the payment has been paid to the contractor for the bridge, hundred percent! It’s only for construction of the 27 kilometers st retch of road that we have given mobilization of thirty percent. Thirty percent of 4 billion Naira, you can add that for yourself and that is the money that we have in our kitty and that money is in our hands. The road is going on and you can access it for yourself. It is Kanya-Kataba-Boje-Onijafang road. Now, that is that for the various local governments, that is South and Central.
Now going to the North, another mini superhighway is being constructed by this administration. If you consider the paucity of funds and our low revenue generated or accruable from federation account, most times we get zero allocation. Most months of the year because of the past indebtedness of previous administration which are hauled on this administration, so we get nearly zero allocation. Yet the state government, through Senator Professor Ben Ayade, through this ministry, has awarded to Messr Sidney Construction limited, a 148 kilometers stretch of road, dual carriage way for 31.7 billion Naira.
We have mobilized the contractor with an amount and the contractor is on site. As I speak with you, clearing for that road project has taken place from Mfom, Okpoma, Okuku, Ogoja, Abuochichie, Obudu and Obudu Ranch. So clearing has been completed right to Obudu. As we speak with you, you can go and investigate. And then, stabilization of the road in terms of cutting, shaping and hauling of materials and compaction has been achieved for 20 kilometers, so you can drive on 20 kilometers stretch of that road from Mfom right into Okpoma and through to Okuku as if you are driving on an express road.
You can investigate, you are journalists. So, that road cuts across all the five local governments areas of the northern senatorial district that is why I term it a mini super highway. A dual carriage way and its ongoing. Our investigations, our supervision show that the contractors are doing well and that they are on site. Government has also been able to as part of the project package, been able to pay compensation for the re alignment of that road to Betukwel in Obudu, Utugwang in Obudu, Abuochichie in Bekwara, compensation will be paid very soon to Okuku and Okpoma and Obudu local government areas, and these are huge millions of Naira in cash.
This is unprecedented because we live in an open country, I do not know any state government that has been paying compensation for providing infrastructure for the citizenry, but because this government has a mind for the people, people who have no legal claim and right to those properties, government could easily have said, we are going to construct the road and bulldoze those properties in the overriding interest of the common good, but this government has a heart and feelings for this people and has ensured that compensation will be paid and I am telling you in Betukwel, it was twenty million Naira, In Utugwang it was 30 million Naira, in Abuochichie it was 30 million Naira, in Okpoma proposal has been made for 70 million Naira, in Okuku 70 million Naira, in Obudu 180 million Naira. Put that together, that is what government is ready to expend.
And so, going forward and going further, in Ogoja local government area, despite the mini superhighway, the government has awarded a contract to a contractor for a road of 2.5 kilometers that cuts across GRA in Ogoja and passing through Ishibori town, all through to St. Benedict, that is a two and a half kilometers stretch of road.
The contractor has been mobilized, first tranche and he is preparing his papers, IPC for second tranche of mobilization. You can pass through Ishibori and see what is happening there. They are the primordial owners of Ogoja urban and they had hitherto no real access, but this government has provided access for them. So this is my score card.
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