A reflection of Sen Akpabio’s era of uncommon transformation
…The Uyo drainage System of 50billion naira
By Nsikak Pius
We cannot conclude on Akpabio’s major “Audio” projects without mentioning the Uyo underground drainage system. A scam project that swallowed Akwa Ibom’s 50 billion naira in the name of uncommon transformation.
It could be recalled that during Akpabio’s era of “uncommon transformation”, the Akpabio administration had spent over N50 billion on some dubious flood control measures with the most curious being the Underground Pipe Jacking system.
The project was executed by Julius Berger and commissioned by Vice President Namadi Sambo on behalf of President Jonathan a couple of years ago; a project which the governor had routinely referred to as one of its kind in Africa.
In one of the interviews he granted, Akpabio described how the flood water from the underground pipes can be harnessed to provide hydro electric power in the state and how he has put everything in place for that to be achieved but it all ended at that. Akwa Ibomites were lied to.
Now, the question is; was our N50 billion naira used judiciously, or was Akpabio’s administration playing on the intelligent of Akwa ibom people?
On Monday, the 14th day of October 2013, a god-sent flood, yes we termed it godsent as it came with many revelations of how Akpabio squandered our state resources. The flood ravaged some parts of the state capital.
Several communities, residential areas, and streets in Uyo were submerged. Even the Government house where Akpabio and his family resided was almost affected by the flood. The result was heavy traffic hold-ups, and the destruction of households and millions of naira worth of property belonging to Akwa Ibom people and visitors.
The flood of 14th October 2013 washed away years of Akapbio’s boasting, lies and exposed the scam called “underground pipe jacking system”. Billions of naira that is almost as much as the income earned by the previous administration of Victor Attah in his first year in office was wasted just like that.
It revealed to the people of Akwa Ibom that what the governor says is not really what happened, and for that the administration and the contractors involved owe the people an explanation on how such could have happened after so much of their money had been spent and despite the technology big companies like Julius Berger claim to possess.
By-the-way, has anything really changed, oh no! nothing has changed, its even getting more uncontrollable and worse by each rainy day in Uyo. Till today whenever there is a very heavy downpour, like the one of July, Uyo metropolis is usually covered with flood. This should not be after a whopping N50billion had been spent.
Remember, the then Governor Akpabio had repeatedly told us that the reason why he does not hire local contractors is because they are not competent. So the question then is, how come such a project failed under the watch of Julius Berger, a supposedly foreign and competent company?
However, the bigger question is whether the people of Akwa Ibom will learn a lesson and come to the understanding of the truth that the Uyo underground drainage system project was a scam and remains so, just like the other major projects of that administration.