Senator Ita Enang, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs, has assured the public that construction firm, Julius Berger, will recommence construction of the Calabar-Itu Road.
According to him, the construction giants downed tools in July 2019 after an instalment of 2.2 Billion Naira approved by the President for the project in 2019 was slashed to 1.1 Billion Naira by the National Assembly.
Speaking during a Radio interview in Uyo, Saturday, Senator Enang explained that the said sum of money was to be the second tranche of payment to the construction firm.
He said that of the 54bn Naira approved for the project, an agreement was reached for 15% of the contract (N8.1bn) to be paid, saying the amount in budget was not enough for the whole 15% to be paid.
Speaking further, the presidential however noted that 3.5bn was however paid to Julius Berger to commence work in 2018.
He stated that negotiations is ongoing with the Federal Ministry of Works and the contractors for work to recommence.
The presidential aide frowned at the attitude of national legislators, saying Akwa Ibom State representatives in Abuja failed to ensure that the approved sum was not reduced by the National Assembly.
Reacting to claims that he said that the road is nearing completion, he stated: “hear me clearly, I did not say that the much talked about Calabar Itu Road has been completed with a spur at Ididep, I only said that the road was awarded by the federal government.”
Senator Enang divulged that between January and February 2019, received a total sum of 78 billion Naira being refunds for federal projects undertaken by the Akwa Ibom State Government during the administration of Obong Victor Attah and Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Obong Attah governed the state between 1999 and 2007 before passing the baton to Senator Godswill Akpabio who held sway from 2007 to 2015 when the incumbent Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, succeeded him.
Reiterating the federal government’s commitment to the progress of Akwa Ibom State, called on the state government to judiciously utilize the funds for the benefit of Akwa Ibom people.
By Ofonime Honesty, Uyo