Reps’ ad-hoc panel decries mode of Calabar-Itu-Ikot road repair
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Roads in the country has expressed shock at the way and manner the much talked about contract for the dualisation of Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Calabar Road contract was awarded.
Chairman of the committee, Mr. Francis Udoyok, who spoke with journalists at the weekend after inspecting the Akwa Ibom State stretch of the road from Ididep in Ibiono Ibom to Ayaedehe in Itu local councils respectively, said that what they saw was not a true reflection of what they were told.He frowned at the way failed portions of the road were not included in the contract, noting that the inconsistency in the award of the road was surprising to the committee.
“He said: “We have come to confirm that the so-called award for the dualisation of Ikot-Ekpene-Calabar-Itu road was not in complete truth. A section of it has been awarded; you can see that from where we stand is the end of the beginning of section one, so to speak. Ayadehe in Itu Local Council to where you have the power plant in Odukpani Local Council was not awarded.
“Even the beginning of the project from Ikot-Ekpene to Ididep was not awarded. So, we have a bad spot that was not awarded covering over 27 kilometres. They came in-between and awarded about 21 kilometres. They left 29.3 kilometres and awarded another 9.3 kilometres. So, you can see the level of inconsistency.
“We know that as a committee, we are going to address this and we know that the minister for works will see reasons with us and possibly send another advance inspection team to authenticate what we are coming with. For me, I believe that it is high time that value must be added to our money spent. We are happy that the company (Julius Berger) has been useful to us in showing what we need to see and in concluding our investigation. I think it will be something of great importance to better the lives of Nigerians.”
Udoyok, who led other six members of the committee, assured the people of the area and Nigerians at large that when their report would have been handed over to the minister of works, the pains people are going through on the road would be a thing of the past, adding: “We are not comfortable with what we saw. I am sure that as a listening government, something positive will be done to stop the suffering of the people. Some people spent six hours on this road and that is not commendable by any means and we expect the Federal Ministry of Works will leave up to it expectation by being proactive because we see no reason why the beginning of a road cannot be awarded but you award the middle, then the next middle is not awarded, then the other side is awarded, it is not commendable”.
The committee acknowledged that, the Calabar-Itu road traversed through about three states which makes it very important to the economy of the country, noting that, despite the paucity of funds, the committee would urged the federal government to release enough funds to the company handling the road so as to complete it on time.However, despite the discrepancies noticed in the award of the contract, the chairman ruled out any foul-play, promising that those issues noticed would be sent to the appropriate quarters for necessary actions, especially in awarding those areas left out in the first exercise.