The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang has called on the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel to emulate the former governors of the state who were iconic in using state funds to intervene on federal roads within the state.
Ita Enang pointed out that Arc Obong Victor Attah and Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio were known for their interventions in undertaking repairs and construction of federal roads in the state.
Speaking during a live radio programme on Inspiration FM on Saturday, Enang said the sacrifices of the former leaders which spanned through the leaderships of three former presidents: Dr Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan ammounted to about N80 billion of which only N2 billion was refunded.
He explained that the All Progressives Congress, APC led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2019, refunded N78 billion to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP led Udom Emmanuel government of Akwa Ibom State being the remaining amount of money spent by past administrations on federal roads.
His words, “Both governors Victor Attah and Godswill Akpabio had used state funds to construct federal roads to alleviate the pains of the people. These were under the government of Obasanjo and Jonathan led federal governments.
“The Federal Government of APC led by President Muhammadu Buhari refunded the sum of N78 billion to the PDP government led by Deacon Udom Emmanuel in February 2019 as amount spent on federal roads.
“It is only wise that Governor Udom Emmanuel who now has so much on his hands should as well intervene in the repairs and construction of federal roads, just like his predecessors did”, he noted.
Enang explained that the federal government did not place embargo on the construction of federal roads by state governments, but was only interested in being part of the terms of costing process, so as to be sure it was not inflated.
“For instance, a contract that will be placed at one billion naira should not be pecked at five billion naira you expect federal government to refund it. There must be synergy in the design and especially, the costing process. Some states are known for inflating projects which federal government will eventually pay a refund”.
Enang who took time to address the concerns surrounding the state of the Odukpani-Itu Road axis of the Calabar-Uyo Road, however stressed that in spite of insults he was still receiving from Akwa Ibom people, he would remain committed to effectively and efficiently discharging his duties.
“Julius Berger has not been given enough mobilization for us to say they’ve failed. They are busy on other projects funded by the presidential infrastructure development fund. In fact, yesterday, we had a meeting with them and we’re trying to see how they can return to site.
“Therefore, I call for patience, tolerance and understanding from the Akwa Ibom people. I apologize for your pains. We share your feelings. It was in situations like these during the time of HE Governor Victor Attah that he used state funds to construct federal government roads”, he said.