The Akwa Ibom state government and a former aide to President Mohammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang are at each other’s throats on the issue of compensation payment for the Calabar-Itu federal road project.
The state government has alleged that Enang had brainwashed some stakeholders in Itu at the weekend that it was the responsibility of the state to pay compensation for the Calabar-Itu road.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Sunday, the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Research and Documentation, Mr Essien Ndueso said by such comments, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain was inciting the people against Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Essien said it was preposterous for Enang to ask the state to pay compensation for a road constructed by the federal government.
He said, “How could the federal government award a contract for a project and not include the bill of quantity?
“How can Ita Enang not know that the same federal government is constructing roads and railways worth hundreds of billions of naira in the north and even into neighbouring countries, and none of the benefitting states has been made to pay any compensation?
“Why is this ridiculous style of road construction by the federal government only applicable to Akwa Ibom State? In the first place, who even undertook negotiation for the compensation that Ita Enang wants Akwa Ibom State Government to make payments? Who appointed property valuers to evaluate the cost of the properties in the right of way?
“This is a contract that is expected to be funded with petroleum profit tax. And in the first place, Akwa Ibom State is losing revenue from that. Yet, Ita Enang wants the state government to pay compensation for the road to be constructed.
“Where does he want the state government to pluck the extra money to pay compensation for the federal government?
Essien further said, “As we speak, the federal government is constructing 21 road projects around Kano State totalling about 960 kilometres, notably Kano – Abuja Highway, Kano – Katsina, Kano – Maiduguri and a host of others.
“The federal government is currently on Phase 3 of the Housing Scheme in Kano State. There is no news anywhere that the Governors of Kano, Kaduna, Borno or the Katsina States, were asked to part with a dime in the name of compensation or counterpart funding of the projects”
But Ita Enang in response denied asking the Akwa Ibom state government to pay compensation for the road, expressing that his statement on the road was deliberately misconstrued.
“I raised no issue against the state government at all, and I am very surprised at the statement in purported reaction.
“I only informed and pleaded with the communities along the road to allow the construction to go on as compensation was not released and given to the contractor because it was not part of the bill for them.
“The video is there and it was in the presence of state government functionaries. I was conscious of their sensitivity and was cautious in presentation as the purpose was to appeal to the communities, and not to inflame passion nor incite,” he said.
Click on The Trumpet and follow us on our Twitter page for more: