Gully Erosion at Itu Highway
It is not a hidden fact that Akwa Ibom state has constructed several federal roads and maintained them over the years. However, what is in contention is that the federal government has not refunded most of the money used in constructing these roads.
According to the Akwa Ibom state government, only N20 billion has been refunded to it by the federal government out of its bill of over N100 billion. However, the news making rounds was that the state government was paid N78 billion.
Alluding to the claim of the state being paid N78 billion, the presidential aide on Niger Delta, Mr. Ita Enang insisted on a radio programme monitored in Uyo, the state capital that the federal government had in fact refunded the disputed sum to the state government as a refund for federal roads constructed by it.
However, The Akwa Ibom state commissioner for works Mr. Inyang-eyen while inspecting gully erosion sites in Uyo, the state capital denied that N78 billion was refunded to the state government.
The commissioner equally called on the federal government to release funds to the state so as to tackle ecological problems in the state lamenting that part of the Itu highway has been cut off by gully erosion.
Governor Udom Emmanuel
According to Inyang-Eyen, it is the duty of the federal government to carry out erosion control measures in Akwa Ibom insisting that the site at Ntak Inyang and other areas scattered around the state posed serious risk to residents and commuters.
“I wish that the Federal Government would consider Akwa Ibom State as part of Nigeria and give us ecological funds to tackle situations like this,” he said.
The commissioner revealed that the extent of devastation caused by erosion in the state is beyond the state government. Hence the urgent need for the federal government to come to their aid through the ecological funds office.
The commissioner said the erosion affecting the Itu highway is so bad that the state government is considering creating a diversion on one side of the erosion site to forestall any mishap by unsuspecting users of the highway.
However, in the radio programme, the Presidential aide Ita-Enang had revealed that the state government had awarded contract for the construction of the highway which is now in a deplorable condition.
He urged the state government to emulate former Governors Godswill Akpabio and Victor Attah who had spent state government funds to construct federal roads in anticipation of getting refunds.