Foresight is one of the major attributes of leadership. You also must lead by example and in Nigeria where government is the biggest spender, projects initiated should be people oriented and achievable with direct positive impact on the community especially the less privileged.
One such example of this project is the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Bypass Calabar, which was conceived by the erstwhile Governor of Cross Rivers State ( Senator Liyel Imoke).
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan bypass Calabar, was commissioned by the Ex-President Jonathan in February 2015, the 7km dual carriage way starts from Atibo roundabout and terminates at the Lemna road, with a flyover and an interchange. This project was initially thought to be unachievable, because of the terrain. Initially a single carriage way terminated at FGGC School in Calabar just after the SSS headquarters because after the FGGC section was a mangrove swamp that spammed over 5km, with thick forest infested with reptiles.
The project was kicked off in 2012 by the state government after careful procurement process and adhering to strict due process procedure; and guidelines, various international companies suggested deck on pile, etc, thereby escalating the project beyond the reach and budget of the state which was struggling with paucity of funds issues and it was awarded to an indigenous firm – Sermatech Nigeria Ltd. at a fraction of the cost, because the procedure adopted for the construction of the road through the swamp was completely innovative and carefully thought through, with the guidance and the close monitoring of a very highly seasoned Consultant – Engr. Bassey Ekanem of Abeno associates and the strong supervision and encouragement of the technical/ engineering crew at the state Ministry of Works, Hon. Leghon Idagbo and Engr. Godwin Akeke. To this end therefore, huge stabilization culverts were introduced to carry water across at every 50 meters, massive sand fill was initiated, and used to capture the swamp, before covering the carriage way with geotextile and geogrid materials which acted as an anti-porous filter membrane and a reinforced barrier, thereafter a 200cm of hardcore was spread all through the carriage way, compacted on to the reinforced membrane ( geogrid), and laid over by 200cm of stone base, then specified binder and wearing course of asphalt, the rest, they say is history.
The impact of this bypass on the traffic from the cement factory through the main town cannot be imagined; neither can the convenience be quantified. This bypass has opened up a new city in Calabar, both residential ( public private) and industrial. To date all the present administration’s pilot projects have been located on the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan bypass in Calabar – from the Garment factory to the Rice Mill and the pharmaceutical industry, all pet projects of Senator ( Prof) Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross Rivers State. It is pertinent to note that Sermatech is an indigenous contractor and 2 years after commissioning Liyel Imoke’s signature project, the contractor has not yet been paid. Recently the bypass was visited by the acting president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to commission and inspect other projects in the area. All these projects are only possible because of the creation of the bypass by Sermatech Nigeria Limited.
This is unfair and unacceptable, paucity of funds should not be an excuse, since billion naira projects have been sited on that same road that has been paid for, in order to support Nigerian owned businesses, keep 100s of Nigerians gainfully employed in this time of recession we urge the government to honour and pay outstanding invoices to the indigenous contractor that performed this feat since government is a continuum.
God bless Cross River State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria