[By Ini Billie, Uyo]
Presidential aide, Senator Ita Enang has said the Federal Government plans to use funds from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the completion of Calabar-Itu, and East-West roads.
Enang, who is the Senior Special Assitant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, said that the use of funds would be as a last resort.
At the weekend in Uyo, he told journalists that he has battled to get the FG to release money for the construction of the road.
He charged the Akwa Ibom and Cross River state governments, and National Assembly representatives to join hands and fight for the release of funds for the construction of the road.
He said the Calabar-Itu road project wasn’t the sole responsibility of any poltical party, as all Nigerians, especially the people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states make use of the road.
He said, “I struggled from 2015 and attracted the first N6 billion in the 2015/2016 budget and when it was to be awarded, what was advertised was rehabilitation of the road from Ikot Ekpene to Calabar. I objected.”
According to him, before he could rectify the error, “the budget had lapsed and the N6 billion was gone.
“I struggled in the following year to have N4.7 billion. I split the road into two because the amount would not have been able to do the initial mobilisation.
“Part of the road was awarded to Julius Berger from the N4.7 billion. Julius Berger was paid that money, but it was not enough for them to mobilise.
The presidential aide explained further that the other portion of the road was awarded at N50 billion to CCEC but “before we finished the documentation, the year has lapsed and that money has lapsed.
“As at today, CCEC has not been mobilised to start work on that road. For this year, there is no reasonable provision for any of the aspect of that road.”
He charged the National Assembly members from Akwa Ibom and Cross River to get involved.
“For the governor of Cross River, I want to say that he has made efforts to get funds for that road. But it is Akwa Ibom that has not.”
He disclosed that N78.9 billion was refunded by President Buhari to the Akwa Ibom, and that the money ought to have been used in handling the Akwa Ibom section of the Calabar-Itu road.
“We have some funds from the Sukus bond, it will be applied to the Cross River section of the road. Much job has been done in the Akwa Ibom section also.
“Out of frustration, we are going to apply part of the funds of the NDDC, which ought not to be, to do the Calabar-Itu road.
“The pressure should be on Akwa Ibom, the highest recipient of the revenue from the Federal Government.”