There is no end in sight to the controversy surrounding the 25-km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road as Akwa Ibom State Government has accused Senator Godswill Akpabio of lying about the contract award and the extent of work his administration did before handing over to Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyangeyen, said Akpabio awarded the contract in 2011 to Julius Berger at the initial cost of N28, 364,575, 803.22, saying that on September 12, 2013, when work started, it was reviewed upward pegging it at N23, 516,228,339.00 billion.
He added that it was reviewed again on September 25, 2014, with the sum of N19, 448,373,217. 67, bringing the value to N71, 359, 177, 114.59. The commissioner said the clarification became necessary following claims by the immediate past governor of the state that the current administration had abandoned the road.
He also dismissed the claim that Akpabio constructed 18 kilometers before leaving office. Besides, Inyang-Eyen also accused the former governor of releasing “the bulk of the money,” without 50 percent of the work being done, adding that the road was hurriedly commissioned in May 2015. He said: “ Even at kilometer 18, we couldn’t have done only three kilometres because we are now at kilometer 23. What is left are two kilometres to Four Point Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene.”
By Harris-Okon Emmanuel