A youth activist in Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Imoh Akpan has described as unacceptable the listing of Federal Government Projects in Akwa Ibom by Governor Udom Emmanuel as part of the projects his administration has executed within three years, Barr. Akpan stated this in a live programme on Inspiration F.M. Uyo yesterday.
According to him, the Federal Government through NNPC/Mobil Joint Venture have spent N13 billion to build the Trauma Centre at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, a skill acquisition centre at Ikot Akata and a Modeling Centre at the Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden regretting that Governor Udom claimed the projects were done by his administration at the cost of N18 Billion.
Maintaining that it was untrue that the federal government has done no project in Akwa Ibom State in three years, Akpan said “Despite the hostility of the State government against Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) the interventionist agency has done several roads in the 31 Local Government Areas, renovated schools, provided water, built bridges among many other live-touching projects.”
He insisted that some projects such as roads and bridges the Udom administration claims to have done were either non-existent or are yet to be completed, adding that that projects should be declared only when they are completed and ready for handing over.
The activist further restated that it is an insult to the collective sensibilities of Akwa Ibom people for the Udom led administration to celebrate payment of salaries as part of its achievements.
“If Akwa Ibom State Government does not pay salaries which State should pay, moreover, it is the responsibility of the government to pay salaries. Beyond this, Akwa Ibom State is the highest revenue earner among all the States, so why won’t it be able to pay salaries.” Akpan said.
According to him the issues of payment of pensions and gratuities is highly contentious because while the government claims it has paid pension to the last kobo, a lot of pensioners cry daily that they are still being owed pension.
Barr. Akpan described as uncharitable comments by the Governor that payment of local government staff and primary school teachers is not the responsibility of the State Government saying that the State Government has prescribed responsibilities to pay salaries and pensions to the concerned public servants.
In his view, the statement by Governor Udom Emmanuel that Nigeria operates a unitary system of government should be quickly corrected as this posed a grave danger of misinforming, young children who are still growing up saying that what operates in Nigeria is a federal system of government.
On education, Barr. Akpan accused the Udom administration of doing too little to enable children of the masses learn.
He said there are still many dilapidated schools and the budget for education drops every year while more money is voted for street carnivals.