Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Abandoned roads in Onna: AKHA Deputy Chief Whip makes case for rehabilitation

Nse Essien

The Deputy Chief Whip and member representing Onna State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. (Otuekong) Nse Essien during last Tuesday’s sitting in a motion drew the attention of the House of Assembly to the abandoned Ikot Akpatek-Ikwe-Odio road. The Onna lawmaker who moved the motion under Matters of Urgent Public Important, said Ikot Akpatek and Ikwe in Onna and Odio in Eket Local Government Areas has for years been in a critical state of neglect requiring the intervention of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which was awarded a contract for its rehabilitation to Worldwide Technologies Limited in 2002.

Otuekong Essien said the project has long been abandoned and the road has been left with critical infrastructure worse than it was before the NDDC’s attempt to rehabilitate the road, adding that the road has deteriorated to the extent that large parts of Onna and Eket Local Government Areas are virtually inaccessible particularly during the rainy seasons. He noted that the bad condition of the road has left the oil producing communities almost inaccessible, making it very difficult for them to move their goods (sea foods and agricultural produce) to the market while potential buyers cannot also access them.
The Deputy Chief Whip further maintained that the situation has led to many segments of the road, having collapsed, turning into death traps with the Itoko bridge claiming dozens of live and property including cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, building materials and foodstuffs worth Hundreds of Millions of Naira over the years even as he said recently, a pregnant woman fell off a motor cycle at the abandoned Itoro bridge and died before she could be taken to the hospital.
According to the lawmaker, “the situation is so bad that market women who sell their wares at Urua Ederebo literarily have to strip themselves to be able to wade through the high and fast water currents flowing through the roads, losing market items like foodstuffs, provisions and cloths while many schools children in Odio and Ikwe cannot go to the only nursery school at Abat due the fast high currents particularly during rainy season. The Federal and Akwa Ibom State Governments, the NDDC, the contractor, Worldwide Technologies Limited and all other relevant agencies have, all these years, failed to listen to the incessant Save Our Soul (SOS) cries of the people of the area to rehabilitate and make the road motorable and therefore ensure the safety of lives and facilitate social and economic activities. The affected communities have been ardent supporters of government and its programmes till date.” Essien stated.
Otuekong Nse Essien however moved a motion as well as urged the NDDC and all relevant Federal Government agencies to as a matter of utmost urgency and important to revisit the project with a view to making sure that the road is rehabilitated. He urged the NDDC and all relevant Federal Government agencies to as a matter of utmost urgency and importance to ensure that rehabilitation work resumes on the strategic road and also urged the NDDC and all relevant Federal Government and State Government agencies to cause the contractor, Worldwide Technologies Limited to explain why it abandoned rehabilitation work on the road.
Essien also urged the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to make urgent steps to provide palliative measures that will ameliorate the suffering of the people. The speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Aniekan Uko while receiving the motion referred it to House Committee on Works to investigate and report back to the House as soon as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment