By Umani Uwemedimo
Four years and eight months ago when Mr. Udom Emmanuel took over as the governor of Akwa Ibom State, the road infrastructure in Uyo Senatorial District was actually not good enough to attract foreign investments which would in turn boost the State’s economy. This factor led to economic stagnation across the state. What happens to Uyo would obviously pose either negative or positive impacts on other districts of the State.
Right from his inauguration at the Nest of Champions in Uyo, Mr. Emmanuel in his bid to provide a road network which links the Rural with Urban areas of the State launched Operation zero tolerance on bad roads in the state, with Uyo Senatorial District of the State having its fair share. Since then, the Emmanuel administration has constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated several roads that are numerous to mention, leading to a steady growth in the social and economic development of the state. The first class road infrastructure, drainage systems and bridges being constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated across the state by international and indigenous contractors have enhanced economic recovery in the state because of the ease of access between the Rural and Urban communities.
The road infrastructure is linking communities, thus enabling farmers and businessmen to link up with markets in Urban Centres in the Senatorial District.
The total roads construction done and or ongoing, so far in Akwa Ibom State by the present administration is about 1700km, with Uyo Senatorial District benefiting from a larger proportion of these roads.
The dualization of the 25.0km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road which as at today has reached a 95% completion when completed and commissioned will aid in prompt linkage of the rural and communities of these Local Government Areas.
Not just this, Ikot Ekpene Local Government is globally known for raffia plantations. After undergoing the processes of palm oil extraction, it’s packaged for commercial purpose. The ongoing dualization of this road will help in the quick and safe transportation of this most sorted product from its area of production to the big markets in Uyo and other neighboring communities. Producers and distributors of marketable goods from Abia, Onitsha, Enugu and other States may soon take this road as their major route for quick access into the markets around Uyo, Itu, Ibiono and other interior areas. Therefore, this particular road is of great importance to the State and its visitors.
The ongoing dualization of the 9.5km Ring Road III from Aka road-Oron road-Nwaniba with 3NO Roundabouts is another road that after completion will pose great positive impacts on the people of the Senatorial District.
The persistent holdup constantly witnessed along Oron road would be greatly reduced. The people coming from the Airport having in mind to lodge at the Ibom Hotels would now have a more shorter route to take instead of going through the Edet Akpan four lanes with the stress of spending minutes on holdup. Now, people going to Abak road, IBB way, Atiku Abubarkar way, Idoro road from the Airport road would now take the shortest route which is the left wing of the Ring road leading to Aka road which also links to the aforementioned roads. Also, business tycoons from Idu Uruan, Ifiayong etc, that specialize more in fishing will now have a quick access to and fro Akpan Andem Market, Isshiet, Ifa Market, Nung Udoe Market, Afaha Market, and some other markets without the fear of heavy traffic. With the completion of this particular road, the traffic jam always experienced on Oron road-Aka road-Nwaniba road will be greatly reduced if not completely annihilated.
The construction of the Ikot Oku Ikono flyover in Uyo which is ongoing, when completed will reduce the high rate of accident always witnessed along this road because of high volume of vehicular movements conveying goods and humans to and fro Abak-Ikot Abasi-Mkpat Enin- Port Harcourt, Etinan-Nsit Ibom-Nsit Ubium-Eket Onna, Uyo- Ikot Ekpene-Odukpani-Calabar. With the completion of this flyover, the menace of accidents will be completely annihilated as there will be alternative routes which will automatically reduce traffic at the junction.
The road construction completed and ongoing in the Uyo Senatorial District are, the construction of of 2.1km road around the State Secretariat Annex and Believers Academy, Mbiabong, 1.5km Nsikak Eduok- Tropicana outfall drain, 3.5km Ikot Udom Road with 15m span bridge in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, 19.317km Annua-Mbak-Ishiet Road, 6.1km Atan offot road, 14.5km Uyo/Airport Junction-Okopedi Okobo road Phase1, 20.0km Uyo-Etinan road, 8.5km Ibiaku Uruan-Ekritam Road and spur in Itu/Uruan Local Government Area, 9.0km Mbiaya Uruan-Ita-Ikpa-Mbiakong Uruan road with 60m Span Bridge in Uruan LGA, 12.15km Enen Nsit-Obotong-Ikot Enwene-Edebom-Oboetuk-Ikot Obok- Mbiakom- Obot Atai- Oboyo Ikot in Nsit Ibom and Ikot Akpa-Edu- iIkot iko- Ikot Akpan Abia road in Ibesikpo with 30m Span Bridge, amongst other hundreds of roads too numerous to mention.
Also, there have been series of interventional road projects by the present State government to help ameliorate the sufferings of the people of Uyo Senatorial District. Some of these roads interventions are; the intervention on the 0.15km Ebong lane, 0.19km Ebong Street, 0.61km Asutan street, 0.18km Ibiono Lane, 0.25km Udotung Ubo lane amongst others which are all completed.
With the dualization/construction of these and many other roads in the Uyo Senatorial District, Gov. Udom Emmanuel has completely linked the Rural Areas to the Urban Areas.
Unlike before, the basic/social amenities like good schools, well equipped hospitals and health centers, world class markets, etc in the Urban areas are easily and quickly accessed by the people residing in the Rural areas. This has drastically reduced the rate of mortality pregnant women and other occupants of the rural communities for they now have easy access to effective medical attention to and from the Urban areas.
All these roads are of great industrial, economic, health and social importance to the Senatorial District, and all these Mr. Udom Emmanuel has done without noise making. No wonder one of the most decorated American Philosopher Frank Ocean opined, “work in silence; let your success be your noise”.
Umani Uwemedimo writes from Uyo.