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WILL NSIMA EKERE RULE AKWA IBOM LIKE THE CURRENT NDDC?

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WILL NSIMA EKERE RULE AKWA IBOM LIKE THE CURRENT NDDC?

WILL NSIMA EKERE RULE AKWA IBOM LIKE THE CURRENT NDDC?

We are constrained to address this all important issue given the recent wave of propaganda effluvia that has been released into the polity.

In Akwa Ibom State and indeed across the country’s Delta region, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has become another name for substandard and abandoned projects. In fact, communities get very infuriated and emotional when projects in their areas are awarded to the NDDC. It will either the project will end up like the Hospital The common knowledge is either the NDDC will do a shoddy job or will abandon it.

Things have gone really worse under the current leadership of the Commission led by Nsima Ekere, a one time deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, who hurriedly resigned when it was discovered he wanted to topple his boss.

The current NDDC has gone worse with cries of shoddy execution of projects and complaints of projects abandonment. According to the Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on NDDC, Victor Effiom Ekpo, “About 80 per cent of NDDC projects in Cross River State are abandoned. And in the last two years, the projects amount to 72, and the total amount appropriated for NDDC projects in the state for 2015 and 2016 is over N40 billion. The problem is that some contractors mobilised to site, while some did not at all. Another set of contractors even collected some money and later got certificate of completion, without even mobilising to site at all. This kind of situation, where the NDDC and contractors use Cross River State as a place to make money from without doing anything or giving commensurate service is very worrisome because these projects are supposed to better the lives of Cross Riverians, through NDDC as the intervention agency. So, let it be known that some contractors, who were awarded contracts in Cross River State do not even mobilise to site, but will find their way around NDDC, obtain their certificate of completion, get their full payment and walk away”.

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There is tremendous fraud perpetuated under the Nsima Ekere’s leadership at the NDDC. One of the affected abandoned projects is the Palace Road in Akamkpa Okoyong. The road leads to the king’s palace. That road, the contractor has gotten the certificate of completion, and NDDC has made almost 100 per cent payment. There is another one, a road project at Heritage Estate. That one also the NDDC has almost finished paying the contractor but the contractor just did very little part of the drainage and left. There is also Edem Odo Street in the Bogobiri area of Calabar Municipal Council. The contractor has already been paid by the NDDC, yet the road is so bad. One of the major problems we have with NDDC is that when it says it is going to work on Road A in Calabar, it will award the contract to a Port Harcourt-based contractor. When the contractor arrives Calabar from Port Harcourt, the Calabar Office of NDDC will divert it to another place and the road will disappear and full payment will be made. The MD of NDDC is milking billions from this fraud.

There is a terrible fraud ongoing in NDDC.

The level of politics in NDDC is so high and frustrating. NDDC was established to intervene and assist communities in the region, but there is a big problem-we are not feeling the impact of NDDC. There is a serious cartel in the NDDC and members of the cartel are playing politics.

In Akwa Ibom State, the NDDC has abandoned a total of 121 rural roads, 75 classroom blocks, 69 rural water schemes, 43 mini-electrification projects among others across the state.

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On a visit to the state last month, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, faulted the evaluation of projects done by the commission. It was a big indictment and a confirmation of the mismanagement under Nsima Ekere.

Now that Nsima Ekere intends to be the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, is he going to run the state like NDDC? His current desperation is unprecedented, he is causing grave crises in the APC and launching serial attacks on the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel.

Nsima of all people cannot play saint and demonize other people. His present assignment is a collosal failure. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly. Speaker Bassey made the promise when Ascend Communications, publishers of Assembly Watch paid him a courtesy visit.

Bassey said he intends to lead an assembly whose legislative engagements will revolve around the constituents, stating that such engagements will be the only way to ensure that the electorate are carried along in the process of legislation.

Speaker Aniekan Bassey said this will be achieved through town hall meetings to gather information on needs of the constituents, constituency briefings to intimate constituents on progress of legislative representation, as well as regular appraisals and briefings. Bassey said these engagements are imperative if the lacuna between the legislature and the electorate is to be bridged.

Speaking earlier, the MD, Ascend Communications, Mr Courage Mbon said the team was in the Assembly to intimate the speaker about “Assembly Watch”, an initiative of Ascend Communications, which aims at informing the general public about activities of legislators both in the State House Of Assembly and the National Assembly.

Mbon said Assembly Watch existed to bridge the communication gap between legislators and the general public; while also appraising performance of legislative representatives both in the state and Abuja.

High point of the visit was the presentation of a commemorative souvenir portrait to congratulate the speaker on his recent election as speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

The Bill titled a Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all forms of Violence Against Persons and to Provide Maximum Protection and Effective Remedies for Victims and Punishment of Offenders and for Related Matters will ensure stiffer punishment for persons convicted of rape and other violent crimes

Rt Hon. Dennis, in the lead debate,
condemned recent violent crimes in the State and said the Bill when passed into law, will protect women, children and other persons against abandonment, circumcision, domestic and economic abuses.

He said it will also curb forced financial dependence, sexual exploitation, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse and said there must be penalties to discourage offenders from these acts.

The Member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko who is a co-sponsor of the Bill, said violent crimes were not only particular to women, maintaining the Bill when passed into law, will also protect the men from all forms of harassment.

Others who spoke in support of the Bill, including the Member representing Ika/Etim Ekpo State Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, that of Ini, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Abak State Constituency, Hon. Udeme Otong;
Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudu and Member Ukanafun State Constituency, Dr. (Mrs) Charity Ido, lauded the lead sponsor, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis for bringing up the bill, saying it will further promote peace in the state.

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey who lauded Members for their interests in the Bill, referred it to the House Committee on Woman Affairs, Social Welfare and Cooperative and directed the Committee to report back to the House within one month.

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Recall in the sixth assembly, Barr
Dennis facilitated a law which seeks to protect Akwa Ibom people from unlawful arrest and detention, the Law amongst other benefits places a ban on the arrest of persons in lieu of suspects, arrests in terms of civil matter and also seeks to eradicate the gender discrimination in bail issues. This was called CRIMINAL JUSTICE LAW.

Barr. Dennis also sponsored a bill which seeks to ensure prohibition of female circumcision or female genital mutilation which is commonly practised in some communities in the state and has lasting negative impacts in the lives of women called LAW THE VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS PROHIBITION BILL.

…….Partial contributions from Press Unit, Office of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to i

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

by Mfonobong Ukpong

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to intervene on the failed portion of the Enen-Itam axis of the road, with a view of alleviating the plights of the road users and residents of the area.

The House gave the directive, Thursday at plenary sequel to a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Member representing ITU State Constituency, Hon. Kufre-Abasi Edidem who informed the House of the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road, particularly Enen-Itam axis of the road. He said members of his constituents and other road users were expressing difficulties plying the road, and pleaded that the state government be urged to undertake urgent intervention measures on the road in the interest of the people.

Reacting to the motion, lawmakers argued that the current situation of the road was affecting economic activities as the road connects Akwa Ibom with neighboring Cross River State. Members for Ibesikpo-Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko, Nsit-Ubium, Barr. Otobong Bob, Etim-Ekpo/Ika, Hon. Mfon Idung, Uyo, Hon. Anietie Eka, Hon, Abak, Udeme Otong, Ukanafun, Dr. Charity Ido and the Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong in their separate contributions sympathised with residents of the area and other road users who ply the road. They wondered why the federal government was still dragging it’s feet on the said road, years after it publicised that contract had been awarded for the construction of the road. The Assembly Members agreed that it has become expedient for the state government to intervene on the federal road, since majority of those who use the road are Akwa Ibom people.

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Uyo representative, Ekah said “It is disheartening that the federal government seems to be playing politics on the road. It’s high time we separate politics from human lives”.

Reacting, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said though the Assembly was aware that the said road is a federal road, it was necessary that urgent intervention be undertaken to ameliorate the plights of the people. He ruled that the matter be referred to the State Ministry of Works for urgent intervention, and directed the Clerk to communicate the decision of the House to appropriate quarters for necessary action.

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