Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel has appealed to the Federal government to reimburse the state over 140 Billion naira expended on the construction of Federal roads and other federal infrastructure in the state.
Governor Emmanuel made the appeal when he embarked on inspection of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene- Aba dual carriage way road project undertaken by Julius Berger Plc.
He said such funds would facilitate the road construction and ensure its completion to ease the difficulties commuters encounter from the Abia State axis and the road connecting Akwa Ibom with Cross River State.
Governor Emmanuel particularly called on the Federal government to give approval for the road construction to be undertaken under Public Private Partnership arrangement in view of the fact that these roads are major economic highways into the state.
“It is a major economic highway in to the entire state. I have applied to the Federal government for concession for the road to be completed under a Public Private Partnership model. All that I’m asking from the Federal government is one word “Approved” and the roads would be constructed in no time”
He urged the construction company Julius Berger Plc to expedite action on the road as soon as the dry season sets in to give tourist access to the Four Point Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area during the Christmas festivities.
The Site Manager, Julius Berger Plc Mr Peter Reifenstuhl explained that the project was delayed by heavy downpour and assured that as soon as the rainy days are over, work will resume in earnest.
Governor Emmanuel who decried the various litigations instituted by beneficiaries of compensation along the road ordered occupants of such buildings to vacate for the structures to be demolished in two weeks.
“We’ve paid compensation to property owners on the road why take the government to Court after collecting the money? I am appealing to them to leave the houses because in two weeks I will order the demolition of those houses. Certainly we are committed to creating access in this place before the Christmas festivities” He emphasised.
The Governor also stopped over at the General Hospital, Ikot Okoro in Oruk Anam Local Government Area where he expressed shock at the state of decay in the hospital.
He acknowledged that the health facility which was established in 1954 has suffered neglect and ordered for a mass burial of twenty corpses which had been abandoned in the hospital.
Governor Emmanuel, accompanied by development expert, Dr Patrick Adiel, was taken on a tour of the health facility by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong and the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Uwak Ekarika who used the occasion to brief the Governor on challenges facing the hospital.