By Destiny Eseaga
THE Akwa Ibom state government has alleged that a construction giant, Julius Berger’s slow pace of execution of road contracts is frustrating the speedy completion of critical road project contracts in the state.
The state commissioner for works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, made the remark, yesterday, while fielding questions from reporters after undertaking an inspecting tour of construction sites along Etinan-Ndoneyo and Etinan-Eket road projects.
Inyang-Eyen,who commended the cordial business relationship between the state government and other construction companies operating in the state, lamented that Julius Berger has demonstrated lack of seriousness in executing terms of contracts awarded to them which is frustrating the effort of government.
He said the state governor; Mr Udom Emmanuel is determined to see the timely completion of construction work on Uyo-Ikot Ekpene and Uyo-Etinan roads.
He warned that the state government will no longer tolerate the slow pace of construction works by the company.
According to the works commissioner, “we hope to pressurize Julius Berger, to increase their speed. They seem to be the only company drawing the state backwards in the area of road construction.
“In the days ahead, I will speak out if they refuse to speed up the construction of the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene and Uyo-Etinan road projects. I will make a public statement.”
Mr Inyang-Eyen lauded the management of Wizchino Engineering (WE) and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), for the extend of construction work achieved on Etinan- Eket and Etinan-Ndoneyo road projects.
He expressed the hope that with the distance already covered, the projects would be near completion before the raining season.
The commissioner appealed with the management of construction companies handling various construction projects to maintain standard, assuring that the state governor was working out plans to make funds available to them.
He disclosed that the Etinan- Ndoneyo and Etinan-Eket roads will not be among the road projects to be commissioned by the governor in May to mark his third anniversary.
“The Etinan-Ndoneyo and Etinan-Eket roads will be opened for public use but will not be commissioned because two of the bridges along these roads are cable bridges which require the services of experts”.
At Ikot Etobo community, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of the state, where construction work was delayed due to unpaid compensation, Inyang-Eyen, while presenting cheques to the affected communities assured the project will be completed.
He told property owners whose buildings were marked for demolition and subsequently evaluated for compensation to collect their cheques from the headquarters of the Ministry of works, Uyo.
The project manager, CCECC, Mr. Henry Shao, told Vanguard that with the payment of compensation to property owners affected by the construction, he was sure that the company will start laying of asphalt on the road.
Shao further assured the state government the project will be executed to specification.
The 22.6 Kilometers Etinan-Eket road our correspondent gathered was awarded to CCECC in 2013 by Godswill Akpabio administration but was abandoned because of lack of funds.
The project it was gathered was awarded to CCECC on a three year contract term but was abandoned after some month due to the state government inability to meet it own part of the contract agreement.