By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
Senator Christopher Ekpenyong representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district has urged the Federal Government to consider Ikot Ekpene-Umuahia, Aba- Ikot Ekpene, and Ikot Ekpene-Calabar Highways for privatisation.
Ekpenyong who spoke during an interview in Uyo said the recent plan by the Federal government to concession the management of some major roads to private investors was a welcome development, as Federal government does not have the capacity to do quality roads.
His words, “I support the recent plan by the Federal government to privatise some major roads in the country. And I want Ikot Ekpene -Umuahia, Aba-Ikot Ekpene and Ikot Ekpene-Calabar roads to also be considered for privatisation.
“That is the only way to get those road in deplorable condition to be fixed because the Federal government does not have the capacity to do quality roads that can last up to 15 to 20years. That is the problem we have with the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“If we continue to depend on the Federal government, those roads will not be fixed. And those Highways are major entry points if you are coming from Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, and other parts of the country. They are economic roads”.
Ekpenyong attributed the deplorable condition of the federal roads linking Akwa Ibom State and its neighbouring Abia and Cross River States to insensitivity of the federal government to the sufferings of people in this part of the country.
He commended the past and present governors of Akwa Ibom state for their intervention in road infrastructure and for not waiting on the Federal government.
“And that is why I don’t subscribe to Federal government asking states not to do federal roads. The intervention by States like Akwa Ibom has actually helped tremendously in road roads infrastructure. Take for instance the Idoro road in Akwa Ibom is a federal road leading to Calabar.
“But when Godswill Akpabio was the governor of this State he decided to dualized that road from Idoro up to Ntak Inyang. So if he had not done the road by now we would still be waiting for the Federal government. It would have still remained not done today because they want us to remain enslaved forever.
“We also have the Oron-Uyo road which governor Udom Emmanuel is doing. The federal government abandoned that road over the years. So if we have depended on the Federal government Oron people will not have access road to Uyo”, Ekpenyong noted.