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Thursday, November 1, 2018


By - Evelyn-A. Ibanga 

The Akwa Ibom State Government has considered a draft of the 2019 budget as well as reviewed some key road projects which are aimed towards actualizing the sustainable development drive of the state administration.

These were part of deliberations during the State Executive Council,  EXCO, meeting presided over by the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, at the Council Chamber, Government House, Uyo.

Giving an insight into the proceedings of the ExCo,  in a brief with Government House correspondents shortly after the meeting, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, accompanied by the Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Nsikan Nkan and their counterpart in the Ministry of Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen, said that the Council's deliberations were geared towards ensuring the actualization of the five points agenda of the state government.

The Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Nkan, hinted that the 2019 draft budget was presented to the ExCo for consideration before subsequently forwarding to the State House of Assembly for approval, explaining that the budget seeks to consolidate on the ongoing industrialization programmes of the Emmanuel-led administration to providing employment opportunities as well as improve the welfare of the people of the state.

According to Mr. Nkan, "It is a budget that once it is ammended, because there were a lot of ammendment that were made today, we would proceed to hand over to the House of Assembly, it is a budget that is very hopeful and very promising and will certainly change the lives of the people of Akwa Ibom State".

On the estimated figure of the budget, the Finance Boss said that the actual amount  could not be provided at the moment, explaining that the draft budget was still undergoing some modifications before arriving at the total figure and promised to do so after the final adjustments were made

He indicated that the ExCo was delighted that the 2018 budget was judiciously implemented, acknowledging that, so far, the state government has accomplished over 70 percent of the total budget for this year.

On his part, the State Commissioner of Works, Mr. Inyangeyen, noted that the state government has reviewed some of the awarded road projects which have been ongoing at a slow pace due to failure of the contractors to live up to the terms of the contracts.

Mr. Inyangeyen said that the state government has taken over the full funding of the Ring Road 2 originating from Udo Udoma junction - Abak Road, saying that the project was earlier awarded on an equal funding between the government and the investor to enable speedy completion in the next three months.

He also stated that the ExCo has given approval for a new contractor, JMK, to take over the construction of  the 14km Ikot Ekara road on East West Road - Ibesit Okpokoro, in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, explaining  that the road project was earlier awarded to Hammakkop  Construction Company in 2014 to be completed in 24 months but has remained uncompleted till date.

The Works Boss further said that the ongoing Ibom Deep Seaport Super Highway which was earlier awarded on alternative funding approach, has also been taken over by the state government for faster execution, mentiining that a spur has been added to the sea side while the highway construction would commence in phases.

Inyangeyen also hinted that the collapsed Obotme - Ikpanya Road traversing communities in Ini and Ibiono Ibom Local Government Areas, which was flagged off last month, has been approved for construction, maintaining that government is working assiduously at providing all basic infrastructure to boost the industrialization policy of the state administration.

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