The Commissioner for Works in Akwa Ibom, Mr Ephraim Inyang, on Friday, said the state government earmarked over N56 billion for the construction of Eket-Ibeno road leading to ExxonMobil operational base.
Inyang made this known in Uyo at a news conference on the number of completed road projects slated for inauguration on May 29 by Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
The commissioner said that so far, a total of N26 billion had been spent on the construction of the road project.
He disclosed that the road, which would be among the roads to be inaugurated on May 29, was solely the financial responsibility of the state government.
He dismissed insinuations from some individuals in the oil bearing communities that the state government had collected money from ExxonMobil for the project.
The commissioner said it was not proper for any company operating in the area to erect billboards claiming responsibility for the project.
Inyang allayed the fears expressed by some citizens that the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road started by the immediate past administration had been abandoned by Gov. Emmanuel.
He explained that the state government was sourcing for fund to complete the payment of compensation to persons whose property were marked for demolition along the road.
The commissioner said “Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road is not an abandoned project; it is an ongoing project, I had a meeting two days ago with the contractor.
“As soon as we complete payment of compensation to the property owners, work will resume on the phase one of the road.”
He said that the state government had evolved an alternative way of funding projects through the involvement of investors in the state.
He added that “in recession like this, we think outside the box and one of the things we do is to consider other means of funding projects.
“We arrived at alternative means of project funding where we approach investors for support and they oblige because they have confidence in the leadership of the state.”
He said that the state government had awarded a total of 37 road projects across the state and only the one at Ukanafun-Oruk Anam was terminated.
Inyang explained that the contract for the construction of the 23.5km Ukanafun-Oruk Anam road was terminated because of non-performance by the contractor.
He assured that the state government was working to build a good road network in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of the state.