Forum Commends Akwa Ibom Projects
03 Nov 2009: Bassey Nkponam
The Nigerian Governor's Forum Secretariat has pledged to table some of the constraints militating against the objectives of the Independent Power Plant at Ikot Abasi to the Presidency at Abuja.
The forum which made the promise recently through its director-general, Mr Kingsley Aduak, during his visit to Akwa Ibom on assessment of government projects, specifically mentioned the issue whereby states were not given sufficient autonomy to control power generation and transmission as one of such constraints noted that a proper machinery should be put in place to ensure the success of the project, adding that if it was not well managed, the development of the project would be a mirage.
Mr Aduak, an architect, expressed the hope that government would do it right, while the forum would assist in the implementation of the scheme. The DG said the forum which comprised a team of policy advisers have visited 15 states already and was in Akwa Ibom to assess the projects initiated by Chief Godswill Akpabio so that they could advise other state governors to tap from his wealth of vision.
The special adviser, Bureau of Technical Matters, Mr. Etido Inyang, told the forum that Akwa Ibom in the nearest future would consume more power because of high powered projects like the proposed Ibom Industrial City and the International Airport which will need a direct transmission from the Independent Power Plant. He explained that government was negotiating with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to know the level of power generation that would be retained and the percentage that would be given to them to manage. Engr. Inyang said the cost of the first phase of the IPP was the component of the second phase.
In his presentation at the Le Meridian Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, the special adviser explained that in a bid to change the state from a civil service to an economy driven one, government brought in investors to partner them to produce good results.
Mr. Inyang said the administration of Chief Godswill Akpaibio has done much in the health, education, transport and agricultural sectors, and has also provided good motorable roads for the people. He further stated that the government has also done well in the area of youth empowerment as shown in the appointment of youths to man various positions of authority in the state, thereby breaking the norm of choosing elderly people for such positions.
Mr. Inyang told them that it’s due to the numerous economic structures in the state that the vision of the international airport was initiated to fast track the economic growth of the state. He explained that though the project was initiated by the last administration, much of the work in the airport was done by the present administration.
At the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, the commissioner for information, Mr. Aniekan Umana, while conducting them round, said government was looking for a situation where the state could be changed from transit to a destination centre, adding that government was doing everything possible to ensure the timely delivery of the project by Messrs Silverbird. He said everything has been put in place, with IPC paid to Silverbird to deliver the job at the exact time fixed.
At the e-Library along Babangida Avenue, Uyo, Mr. Umana told the forum that the IPC for the job has been paid and that the project would be completed by the first quarter of next year.
At the flyover, the commissioner said about N14 billion has been committed in the underground drainage at the site, while the holistic charge for the flyover project was N53 billion. Mr. Umanah who said the first flyover has reached over 55 per cent completion assured that the work would be rounded off by December.
At the pollution and Waste Management Equipment Workshop at Itam, Mr Umanah said the project was initiated for waste control and disposal, pointing out that in the process of keeping the state capital clean, waste would be properly managed by way of recycling them into manures. He said the project will also help in the control and disposal of waste in the state capital.
At the 20th Anniversary Specialist Hospital, the commissioner told them that the essence of the project by government is to ensure that our people have access to good medical care instead of traveling to other places for such purposes. He said on completion by the end of 2010, the hospital will be equipped with first class medical facilities.
Also at the Ekid-Itam Bridge, Mr Umana said the past two years the 29km federal road was so bad that people stay longer than necessary on the road during a trip to Calabar, Cross River State, until the governor decided to ameliorate their sufferings.