Thursday, 6 March 2014
PHOTONEWS: The Akwa Ibom Bridge To No Where
Julius Berger Gets A/Ibom Bonanza: Akpabio To Spend N28 billion For 12 km Road. Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday awarded a spectacularly bogus road contract to German construction firm Julius Berger worth N28 billion.
In his own words at the contract-signing ceremony between officials of the construction firm and the state government, “The contract covers four lane roads of 12km from the Olusegun Obasanjo way to Oron road will have a fly over for the first phase.”
In a bid to justify the bogus contract which is calculated to launder Akwa Ibom funds into private use, an elated Akpabio said that Julius Berger was selected based on its track record, ability to mobilize to site, and speedy delivery of job.
Engr. Woltgang Goetsh, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, signed for the company while Akpabio signed for Akwa Ibom state government.
Going by the contract sum, the people of Akwa Ibom treasury will pay an average of N2.3 billion for every kilometre of the urban road.
Akwa Ibom remains the largest beneficiary of the 13 percent derivation funds from the federation account just as the indigenes of the state are the most impoverished as the state government embarks on white elephant projects that have no impact on the coastal oil communities and the common man.
Akpabio has consistently turned a deaf ear to calls for the establishment of an Oil Producing Areas Development Commission to spearhead the development of oil-bearing communities that have been neglected by federal and state governments for decades. Such commissions exist in all Niger Delta states except Akwa Ibom, where littoral settlements with abundant oil and gas reserves are in the minority.
During his election campaign for his first term, Akpabio had pledged to set up the Commission, but he reneged on the promise because such a commission would reduce his disposable funds and demand some level of accountability and transparency.
It will be recalled that the Qua Iboe oil fields operated by ExxonMobil contributes over 40 percent of Nigerian oil output, with a capacity of close to a million barrels of crude per day sitting in Akwa Ibom soil.
In spite of hosting the largest oil production and exploration firm, the host communities have only environmental pollution to show for the hydrocarbon deposits in their domain. When they cry out, they are ignored by Mr. Akpabio.