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THE Akwa Ibom State Government has signed N12.03bn contract for the dualisation of Aka-Nung Udoe Road in the state.

The contract, which is to be undertaken by Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company, is for the construction of a 12-kilometre road linking Ibesikpo/Asutan council area of the state capital.

Speaking during the signing of the contract in Uyo on Thursday, Governor Godswill Akpabio said that his administration had also awarded a contract for urban renewal and development of the state capital at the cost of N4.5bn.

The governor, however, pleaded with the people to bear with his administration, saying a lot of demolitions would be undertaken within the state capital.

Akpabio explained that the award of the contract was in fulfillment of his January 2007 campaign promise to the people of the state, particularly the people of Aka and Ibesikpo Asutan, adding that the social and economic lives of the people would be transformed positively when the project fully completed.

He said that the contract was expected to be completed in 18 months and would include special features like parking lanes, bus stops, pedestrian bridges in urban strategic locations; walk ways and street lights.

The governor said, 'The Aka-Nung Udoe road project is a key component of the urban renewal programme of his administration, and Uyo metropolis will be transformed into a mega city with the next one and half years.

'For the urban renewal programme of the state government to be fully effective and result-oriented, there is the need for the government to engage the services of reputable and dependable construction firms such as the CCECC.

'I charge you (CCECC) to deliver the project within the recorded time and according to specification. This administration will not patronise construction companies that fail in their contractual terms with the state government.'

Earlier, the Managing Director of CCECC, Mr. Zhou Tianzing said that CCECC was a reputable construction engineering company with enviable track record.

Tianzing explained that such was visible in its contribution to the transformation of the Nigerian railway system as well as the delivery of quality jobs around the country.

He said, 'CCECC will not renege on its social responsibility to the people of the host communities of Aka and Ibesikpo.

'We will provide employment opportunities to youths of the communities affected by the project, as part of its social responsibility to the people of the state and the communities in particular.'