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Akpabio Flags Off Construction Of Eket-Ibeno Road

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Governor Godswill Akpabio has formally flagged off the construction of Eket-Ibeno Road as a dual carriageway awarded at about N24.9 billion and is to be completed in 24 months.

The 20-kilometre road awarded to Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited has four bridges, 300mm laterite sub-base course, 200 crushed stone base course, 60mm asphalt binder course, 50mm asphalt wearing course, 1.80 walkways, 2.75m parking lane, 20.1m carriageway and street light, among others.

The road, which has easy access to Qua Iboe Terminal, access to Stubb Creek natural habitat, opening to Ibeno Beach for tourists and a gateway to the social and economic development of Eket, Ibeno and Upenekang, has such stakeholders as ExxonMobil, Niger Delta Development Commission and Akwa Ibom Government.

Chief Akpabio, speaking Friday at the official flag-off ceremony of the road, publicly handed over the Executive Director of CCECC, Michael Bill to the Chairmen and Paramount Rulers of  Eket, Esit Eket and Ibeno Local Government Areas to ensure the protection of the contractor’s equipment and personnel.

The Governor, however, thanked NDDC for handling the construction of the road for years now, saying that his government flagged off the construction of the road as part of the uncommon transformation going on in the state.

He commended the three local government chairmen for cooperating with the state government and ExxonMobil, and called on them to mobilize youths in the areas to support the contractor by staying away from any form of kidnappings, warning that the law would deal with any person caught committing the crime.

Akpabio thanked ExxonMobil for its readiness to partner the state government in the construction of the road, noting “I am not here to play politics, but to do a serious business.  We are not taking over the job from NDDC but to assist it. I feel that we can remove potholes from Eket-Ibeno Road by constructing a new one… After this, I’ll commence the remodeling and beautification of Eket urban. This area produces the money that the entire country is using”.

The Governor dispelled the rumour peddled by some people that ExxonMobil has paid compensation on the recent oil spill to affected persons, an act some miscreants relied to wreck mayhem in the area, remarking that the payment must undergo due process and a committee would be set up to establish genuine beneficiaries before payment is made.

The Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Owong Effiong Achianga described the Governor as a good man and a man of vision particularly for awarding contract for the construction of the road hitherto forgotten and abandoned by past administrations in the state.

Owing Achianga who commended Akpabio for judicious utilization of public funds for the benefit of the masses and according respect to royal fathers in the state, appealed to him to intervene in the alleged payment of compensation some victims to ally fears in some quarters which some miscreants in the area recently capitalised on the rumour to kill him and wreck mayhem in his palace.

He recalled that on July 4, this year, African Independent Television (AIT) broadcast that Akwa Ibom Government had signed contract with CCECC Nigeria Limited for the construction of Eket-Ibeno Road which serves as the route to economic prosperity of the nation, appealing to youths in the area to lay down their arms and cooperate with the contractor to ensure speedy completion of the project.