Uyo Capital City Becomes New Again
25 Aug 2010
Uyo, the capital city of oil producing Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria’s biggest oil producer, has in the past three years received several development structures to jumpstart a metropolitan landscape for the city from the present administration. After much deliberate development strategies, it becomes essential for the state capital to remove her toga of a local government headquarters which Uyo has been bearing before the state was created in 1987.
|Model of the new roundabout under construction at Ikot Ekpene / Ikpa Road junction|
The state governor, His Excellency Chief Godswill Akpabio, in his drive to make Akwa Ibom a destination has so far championed a well cut out urbanization strategy that started with the governor deploying a serviceable and robust road network, functional schools, and hospitals, strategic infrastructures, as well as supporting a dignifying movement of human traffic through promotion of state sponsored taxis, mini-buses, luxurious buses, state-wide civil servants welfare luxurious buses and even the prestigious Ibom International Airport. Quality of life index in Akwa Ibom State in three years have escalated to the admiration of the entire country.
For the residents of Uyo, the new birth of Uyo is considered a boundless digitalisation from a governor widely celebrated as the ‘Digital Governor’. Some expected a miracle only to get caught napping with the introduction of new ways of doing things. Indeed, the psyche and expectations of the people has been raised to noble perspectives as they anticipate their governor is committed to delivering best-of-breed projects, best-in-class services, and state-of-the-art infrastructures.
Demographically, several people friendly policies of the state administration have seen more people make Uyo a destination as expected. When this administration came on board in 2007 Uyo had a population that was about 350,000. Today, Uyo may have jumped to 1m people, about three times what it was three years ago and over stretching facilities. To handle the rising immigration challenges, the state government adopted modern town planning considerations, market re-settlement, as well as housing schemes and policies. As human population density continues to thicken in Uyo, the government is living up to her responsibilities by holistically managing the effects on the environment such as flood control, and effects on the people by introducing civic aesthetics to make Uyo appealing and comfortable for all.
The government is making Uyo new again by remodeling the city through a comprehensive urban renewal programme, the first phase of the project has commenced with a signed contract with Nigerpet Structures Limited for the modernization of the capital city. The Nigerpet project will see Uyo take a completely new look with consideration for people comfort, traffic management, and environmental protection. The aesthetic appeal will see the new Uyo landscape commanding a deep knowledge of love, friendship, and beauty in its people. The appropriateness of Uyo’s emerging municipal art is to be expected in the advocacy of aesthetics, we will see the people themselves deepen their sense of perception and capable of increased functionality in a modern world as global citizens.
The first step in the right direction was the removal of illegal structures, crudely built shanties and risky shade projections from all the major streets of Uyo. Though the demolition of those downright ugly, dangerous and repulsive illegal structures and removal of containers used as business outlets and shops by some Uyo residents raised unjustifiable emotions, but today, residents are persuaded of government’s noble intentions and appreciate the beauty of government’s submission of insistence as landlords have equally seen the need to renovate and paint their buildings, others also consider it now necessary to project clean, flowery, unencumbered frontages. Down to earth, government’s position will further promote good sense of sanitation among the people and upscale an appreciation for the on-going city-scaping of Uyo. Right now, the people are partnering government to implement solutions to better the environment as active agents in determining their environment.
Nigerpet Structures limited already aware of the prestigious nature of the project and Akwa Ibom state government expectations for project delivery, promises to enhance traffic management by introducing international construction design standards for geometric design of roads, junctions and roundabouts to enhance traffic management and control in the state. Nigerpet Structures have realized the challenges of renewing Uyo to wear the looks of a modern state capital and planned for the execution of the permanent works inside the city center with minimum disruption to the general public. In going about the beatification of Uyo, the company will also handle the beautification of streets through street-scaping, implement drainage solutions, and manage waste conversion. The beautification project complements the flyovers at Itam Junction, the on-going dualisation of Aka-Nung Udoe Road, and the new street lights and signage, to make Uyo a city that all Nigerians will want to be.
In the beautification of Uyo, roundabouts are favoured over road interchange with traffic lights. Government is upgrading four junctions to safe and scenic roundabouts in the remodeling process. This is because Akwa Ibom State Government considers roundabouts to be safer than traditional signal-equipped junctions with expectations of lower possibilities of vehicle collisions, reduced human injuries and much fewer fatalities when compared with junctions. Roundabouts are considered safer for the people as they reduce points of conflict between pedestrians and motor vehicles. Although crashes involving cyclists may not altogether experience drastic reductions, however, we expect creative solutions to emerge in the nearest future for this rather exotic mode of transport, starting with enforcement of appropriate personal protective equipment.
Selected roads and strategic roundabouts in Uyo metropolis would be rehabilitated to suit the modern Uyo capital city. Among roads listed for remodeling under the phase one are Ikot Ekpene-Ikpa Road-Ibiam Street, Nwaniba-Dominic Utuk junction, Nwaniba-Edet Akpan Avenue junction, while Wellington Bassey Way and Dominic Utuk Avenue will be rehabilitated with a new roundabout to interface and enhance the brand new governor’s lodge.
This Flagship project will embrace key aspects of urban development like traffic management using traffic sign that are 3m technology, UV resistant and corrosion free. The Beautification of street corridors which entails creating gracious sidewalks, the use of street furniture like tree grates, trash receptacles, Planters, Royal bollards, Bench seats, Illuminated reboundable bollards, reboundable delineator posts, modular bus stop shelters, reflective road studs Bs En14632:2000, retro-reflective thermoplastic road marking Bs3262. The project materials are said to be in accordance with the current technology, industry standards and international specifications and as well are all zero maintenance reboundable bollards, chevrons and reboundable delineator posts.
The dedicated drainage plan and outfall is for wellington Bassey way to drainage outfall at Afaha Oku ravine. Malum Nigeria is working at Nwaniba to Uran on flood control while a Pipejacking tunneling has also been deployed to make sure that the flood situation in Uyo is brought under complete control.
With the erection of picturesque beauty for the Uyo resident, one can align the resultant evoking of beautiful mental images in people’s minds and the putting up of charming appearances with the evolution of commerce and industry, individual creativity, and wealth development by the people. For the people the administration may also end up creating an aesthetically active citizenry and the inculcation of deeper environmental values among residents. Yes, they will sense, feel, experience, and appreciate modern environmental values as Uyo takes on a new look. With feelings of such body sensations as the pride evoked in the symbolized signaling of the unity of Akwa Ibom communities, as well as the hard working people of the State, the stories told by these new municipal structures will last a lifetime and pass from generation to generation progressively building a template of the Akwa Ibom person of our dreams.
The re-birth of Uyo is a subtle message to our collective challenges as a people today, such as the menace of motor cyclists, the embarrassing unemployment, the hate culture bundling a minority of peers into gangsterism and violent crimes, getting people to buy into government programmes and policies, as wells as getting people into productive ventures. Indeed, the re-birth of Uyo is the best thing to happen to Akwa Ibom State, it will strengthen our institutions and build our core values and cohesion. The message is unquantifiable, the experience will last a lifetime, its pull will be universal, and its appeal boundless. It will be yet another uncommon transformation.
At a stretch, the re-birth of Uyo as far as the development programme of the government of Akwa Ibom State is concerned starts with a hospital, a major edifice, at Ekit Itam, in Itu LGA, reaching a crescendo as one flies over the beautiful flyovers at Itam junction, maintaining the tempo through a dualised Ikot Ekpene Road, a world class roundabout with Ikpa Road and Ibiam Street, another roundabout with wellington Bassey Road leading to the masterpiece governor’s lodge, and as one enters Nwaniba Road the dualisation from Ikot Ekpene Road graciously continues, then one is welcomed with a beautiful roundabout with Oron Road, soon one can shout praise the Lord at the new roundabout with Dominic Utuk Avenue where Power Chapel is situated, another roundabout with the four-lane Edet Avenue sends one cruising past UNIUYO permanent site. The dualised Nwaniba Road beauty extends much further through the greens and ends with a hospitality project, the prestigious Le`Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort at Nwaniba beach in Uruan LGA. So, the rebirth of Uyo starts in a hospital and ends in hospitality.