By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has said that it is not antagonizing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the implementation of intervention projects in the state.
The Commissioner for Works in the State, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen stated that it was rather insisting on standard jobs delivery by the Commission.
Inyang-eyen, who stated this while interfacing with journalists at the Press Centre, Uyo on Thursday, maintained that the state government was committed to quality jobs delivery in the state to avoid waste of public funds and manpower.
This is coming on the heels of insinuations making rounds in the state that NDDC is not leaving up to expectations in its intervention projects executed in the state at the detriment of the benefiting state, even when reasonable amount of money was allocated for such jobs.
“What we are saying in essence is that, if NDDC wants to embark on any project in the state, it should let us see the design and contract papers for the project so that we can follow up with the contractors to ensure that only quality job in line with specifications on the contract terms is delivered to Akwa Ibom people,” Mr. Inyang-eyen said.
“This will also assist the state government to hold the contractors handling the Commission’s projects accountable to the people of the state and government for money collected to execute the jobs,” he added.
The Commissioner who reiterated the position of the Akwa Ibom State government on superior performance in all jobs done in the state, said, “As a government in the state, we cannot afford to settle for any low standard jobs because it would amount to waste of public funds, besides depriving the state of its rights to benefit maximally from NDDC intervention projects earmarked for the state.”
According to him, the state government is willing to work with NDDC in delivering the dividends of democracy in the state but there is need for the harmonization of projects to avoid duplications, waste of resources and conflicts.
Stating the strides of Governor Udom Emmanuel administration in the road infrastructure since assumption of office in 2015, Mr. Inyang-eyen told journalists that the administration has dualized five roads, including Ndon Eyo – Etinan Road, Ikot Oku Ikono – Etinan road, Etinan-Eket road, Eket-Ibeno Road.
He said Oron federal constituency has the highest number of roads and bridges, adding that the idea was to bring the area at par with quality roads networks in other federal constituencies having been neglected in the past.
Some of these roads and bridges according to the Works Commissioner are constructed by indigenous contractors and built to standards.
He criticized negative media reports carried out by a section of the media, especially on social media without recourse to facts, and called on those involved to always cross-check facts before going to press.
The Commissioner, who is the Zone F Patron of NUJ, also stressed the need for journalists in the state to be constructive in their criticisms about government policies and programmes in order to properly inform the public.
He pledged to assist NUJ in the state to complete its ongoing projects at the press centre located on Information Drive, Uyo.
In his comment, the chairman of the state council of NUJ, Elder Patrick Albert had commended Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen for his pledge to the Union.
He also commended him for his dedication to duties, especially his effective supervision of road contracts in the state and also commended the state government for the number if road projects executed across the state.