Akwa Ibom SSG sheds more light on flyover, Tropicana projects
14 Jun 2009: Jackson Udom
THE secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Mr. Umana Okon Umana has shed more light on the Ibom Tropicana and Itam flyover projects. Speaking to some journalists in his office, the SSG said, too much emotion has been employed by various commentators on the projects, without getting the true picture of the real essence of the projects.
Mr. Umana, who is also the chairman of Finance and General Purpose Committee (FGPC) in the state explained that a more objective assessment of the projects, based on available technical facts, would be more beneficial to all stakeholders than emotional comments not backed by what currently obtains.
He stated that the Tropicana project sits on 82 hectares of land spanning from Udo Udoma Avenue to the Third Ring Road, making the available land more than enough for the project. He noted that it would be misleading to think that any responsible government would embark on a project of that magnitude without proper and professional study and feasibility of the project.
He added that every aspect of the study, design and other pre-construction jobs were done on the project. He revealed that an Environmental Impact Assessment study on the project was carried out by a consulting firm, PGM Limited.
The EIA, he said, took care of all the concerns being raised in some quarters on space, parking area, and traffic, adding that the project site could be accessed from both Udo Udoma Avenue and the Third Ring Road, thereby taking care of any traffic bottlenecks on either of the roads.
The SSG further stated that it was unfortunate that those who rushed to condemn the location of the project clearly did so out of ignorance and that the controversy would have been avoided only if they had taken time to consult the relevant agencies of government, like the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Office of the Surveyor General and the Consultant, AIM consultants who would have readily made available copies of the site plan.
He also said it was a shame that the controversy ever emerged because all the necessary information could have been obtained from the publication on acquisition of land in the PIONEER of Wed. January 14, 2009 by the Ministry of Land and Town Planning. On the flyover project, Mr. Umana stated that the project was not arbitrarily initiated.
He said that government being mindful of the envisaged growth of the city commissioned Julius Berger to produce an updated transportation and road network master plan for Uyo.