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THE AKWA IBOM N180BILLION ON ROADS

Source: huhuonline.com

Sir,
In reeling out his government's achievements within the last two years, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Chief Godswill Akpabio, revealed that he splashed over N180 billion on roads within the period; average of N90billion per year.

From what was read in the past, some roads in that State cost N1billion per kilometer but information as given out by Akwa Ibom government, shows the N180billion covered 400 kilometers. Taking it averagely, it translated to N450 million per kilometer. Nevertheless, Akwa Ibom has good land composition unlike the swampy Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States. Going by information from those States their roads average N250 million per kilometer.

Looking at the figure spent by Akwa Ibom State on roads alone, it amounted to between three and four years' total annual budgets of most States in the federation. Considering that the past administration in Akwa Ibom had it good in road construction; the question on some lips is, on which roads then was the N180billion spent within the past two years?

Former President Obasanjo during his second term campaign talks in Ogun State claimed that he had spent N300billion on roads and with that information, the former Abia State governor, Orji Kalu, challenged Chief Tony Anenih former Minister of Works to give account of how he spent such huge amount. Without wasting time, Chief Anenih's spokesman retorted that it was only N126billion that was released during his tenure that lasted three years plus (1999 to October 2002) to maintain about 1000-kilometers roads And here we are talking of N180billion spent on roads by a State in two years. If President Yar'Adua is sincere, his EFCC should be attracted to this.

I know that people of Akwa Ibom State would have wished that if only 10% of the N180billion was deployed to transmit electricity power from their Independent Power Plant at Ikot Abasi to Eket, as we are meant to understand was the only thing holding the 180MW power station, that would have witnessed much growth in economic and commercial activities, just as now the case in Kwara. Our leaders should be thought lessons (one does not mind if it is at Havard) on how to appropriate funds.

Mutum Bello, 1 Bello Close, Bukuru, Jos

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