*NDDC Commissions Oku Iboku Roads, Inspects UNIUYO Projects*

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated the
5.15-kilometre Oku Iboku Internal Road Project in Itu Local Government Area
of Akwa Ibom State. It also inspected the road and erosion control project
which it is executing at the University of Uyo.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Oku Ibokun roads and drainage, the
NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, urged the benefiting communities to
be grateful to the All Progressive Congress, APC, administration of
President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NDDC Managing Director was accompanied by the Commission’s Executive
Director Projects, Engr (Dr) Samuel Adjogbe, FNSE, the Akwa Ibom State
Representative on the NDDC Board, Dr Samuel George Frank, and other
directors from the Commission.
Ekere said: “I am very happy with what I am seeing today in this community.
Oku Iboku is one of the very prominent towns in Akwa Ibom state. It has a
history and pedigree. It is not wrong that the community was not even
remembered before now.
“Recall that we have had various vilifications and attacks by the
government of Akwa Ibom State. They have repeatedly said that NDDC has not
constructed even one kilometre of road in Akwa Ibom State.
“Earlier today, we inspected the road that links Nsasak Junction-Akon in
Essien Udim Local Government Area that connects Abia State. This is a
30-kilometre road project, out of which 15 kilometres have been completed.
The contractor is currently working on the bridge to link both states. I
saw 15-km of solid and quality road being handled by an indigenous
contractor, who is also from Akwa Ibom State.”
The NDDC boss noted that the Commission also engaged a local contractor to
execute the Oku Ibokun internal roads. He expressed satisfaction with the
quality, stating that it would compete with roads in any part of the world.
Ekere expressed disappointment with the attitude of some officials of the
Akwa Ibom State Government whom he accused of misleading people. He said:
“Somebody needs to educate some of the officials of the Akwa Ibom State
Government that as responsible officers of government, they should not
speak until they are sure of their facts. Again, I repeat, NDDC is not
competing with any of the state governments in the region. We are just here
to complement the efforts of the state governments.”
The village head of Ikot Essien, Chief Evans Enwan, commended the NDDC for
building a quality road for his people. He, however, pleaded with the
Commission to extend the road to Mben Inyang.
At the 1.2-kilometre University of Uyo dual carriage access road, Ekere
said that NDDC took on additional responsibilities when the university
authorities appealed for help to tackle the drainage challenges on the road.
The MD said: “We include the 1.4 kilometres drainage outfall to address the
challenge. That way we are sure that when the road is completed it will
stand the test of time. Again, a local contractor has proved his mettle
here and that is why we are committed to using them so long as they are
qualified and have technical and financial capacity.
“We want to empower them to improve on their capacity so that ultimately
they can engage the engineering graduates from our universities to give
them hands-on experience in construction projects.”

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere , cuts the tape to commission the 5.15-kilometre Oku Iboku Internal Road Project in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. First left is the Akwa Ibom State Representative on the NDDC Board, Dr Samuel George Frank, while from right is the village head of Ikot Essien, Chief Evans Enwan and the NDDC Executive Director Projects, Engr (Dr) Samuel Adjogbe.
Ekere commended the UNIUYO students for maintaining peace and allowing the
contractor to work without hindrance. He promised that the NDDC would put
in more efforts to complete the hostel in the university.
According the MD, “the hostel has been largely completed, what is left is external works and landscaping as well as a few finishing touches to the building. The contractor will meet the NDDC Director of Project Monitoring
and Supervision so that whatever needs to be done is done urgently.”
Ekere stated that the NDDC was building hostel projects in other universities, adding that they were experiencing some hitches which would soon be resolved. He said: “Most of the hostel projects were awarded many years ago and the contractors unfortunately had not delivered on them. Some
of them were awarded when a bag of cement was sold for 60 Naira.
“In some of them, the scope of work has had to be reviewed and the process
of getting approvals from the Bureau of Public Procurement to increase the
contract sums takes time. Right now, we are in the process of reviewing
them to ensure that these projects are completed. We want our students to
as much as possible study in comfort. NDDC is committed to doing whatever
has to be done within its capacity to ensure that we add value to the
educational system in the Niger Delta.”
He assured that the NDDC hostel projects in the various universities in the
Niger Delta region would be re-activated as soon as possible and the
contractors would be mobilised back to site to complete them.
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