The Cross River Basin Development Authority, CRBDA, on Thursday reached a partnership deal with the Akwa Ibom State Government through the ministry of lands and water resources.
Leading his management team on a courtesy call to the office of the commissioner at Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat in Uyo, the managing director of CRBDA, Engr Bassey Mkposong gave insights to the plights of Akwa Ibom State in the agency.
Engr Nkposong lamented that in spite of the enormous opportunities for both states in his parastatal, Akwa Ibom could not tap the slightest of her entitlements, due mainly to failure of cooperation from communities and lack of interest by stakeholders.
Regretting that the agency could not access the vast areas of land “graciously given to them by Governor Udom Emmanuel in three locations”, the MD also noted, “we need flying boats and ferries, since miscreants have taken over the waterways”.
His words, “When I heard that my brother is the commissioner, I had that feeling that we are going to achieve a lot in this regard. I feel uncomfortable since people could say that because I am from Cross River State, I’m unwilling to implement projects that would benefit Akwa Ibom State. It might interest you to know that my wife is an Akwa Ibomite from Itu LGA.
“CRBDA is a federal government agency and we have contributed greatly to the achievements of this government. That is why we have come here to seek this partnership. All these can be captured in the budget to help us create jobs and open up villages.
“Community is the cankerworm against our agency’s achievements. Large farms belonging to the agency are inaccessible because the community isn’t cooperative.
“Sometimes, they block you, forcefully take your working equipments and chase you out of the place. From my years of experience, I can tell you that northerners are more receptive of developments than southerners.
“Designs have been made for Nkari Dam. We ensure that we put a budgetary allocation for the project on a yearly basis. There’s also a Dam at Ibiono Ibom and the water treatment plant has been installed. But the state government is yet to begin it’s responsibility of distributing the water”, he said.
In his reaction, the commissioner for lands and water resources, Capt Iniobong Ekong, rted, regretted that people could work against governments’ efforts.
Capt Ekong who thanked the agency for resisting anti-development activities of communities, and for practically bringing development to the doorsteps of Akwa Ibom people, promised that the ministry will work with the agency to attract what belongs to the state.
“I thank the CRBDA for finding it necessary to break the rules in making sure the rights and privileges of Akwa Ibom people are protected.
“I am embarrassed to understand that we are our own albatross. I have carefully taken note of those grey areas. We have a responsibility as government and individuals to do our parts to ensure our citizens get maximum benefit from government.
“We must as a matter of intentional direction, give our people accurate representation, a better opportunity and results.
“I am going to ensure that I interface positively with every platform that would help us make a better opportunity for our people.
“I sincerely appreciate you, Mr MD, for taking this upon yourself to reach out to us. Indeed, this is a clear case of a teacher practically begging his students to pass his exams”.
Noting that Akwa Ibom is one of the most blessed states that produces the wealth of the nation, the commissioner charged staff of his ministry to do their best to ensure the right proportion of development gets to Akwa Ibom State.
“The logistics, things and resources that make Nigeria what it is, come from here. It is ironical that we can own the resources that feeds this nation and at the same time shy away from tapping from it.
“It is time for staff members of this ministry to immediately put on their thinking cap, leave the convenience of their cushioned offices and begin to traverse the fields in order to give results to justify our contribution to the national wealth.
“We cannot pretend to play the ostrich on matters like these. We cannot become academic in the fields of practical derivation of products and results that will actually justify us being called a government.
“Government is supposed to be government. When people are sleeping, we’re supposed to be government. When people are awake, we’re supposed to be government. When people are satisfied, we’re supposed to be government. When people are hungry, we must be government and that has to be on the foundation of sacrifice and destruction of the concept of self over the concept of service.
“Sir, we will do our best. We are ready to partner with you, because in your own bowels are plenty items that we must take home for the benefits of our people. Thank you for coming”.
Other staff of the ministry who spoke at the meeting included the permanent secretary, Mr Godwin J. Udo; director of administration, Mrs Bella Akpanya; and director of water resources, Mr Iboro Peter who observed that the partnership would yield enormous results for the state.
Others in attendance were director town planning, TPL Aniekan Akpan; director of accounts, Mrs Margaret Essien; director of regional planning, TPL Effiong Akpan; director of lands, ESV Effiong Isa; director of legal affairs, Emmanuel Udonsek Esq; and others.
Also joining the MD of CRBDA on the visit were the executive director of finance and administration, Okpata Egbe; executive director of agric services; Mrs Abasiama Edeghe; executive director of engineering, Engr Isang; executive director of planning, Engr Eric Archibong; deputy director of design, Mr Ubong Umoren; assistant director of irrigation, Mr Osung Ntekim, among others.