Ini Friday, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has promised to engage local contractors in road projects while flagging off the construction of a 1.1km road.
Speaking in Ikot Ekpene on Wednesday while flagging off the construction of Spring Road, the dilapidated access route to Goretti Secondary School, with a 0.875km outfall drain, Governor Eno advised local contractors to register with the Ministry of Works and Fire Service.
The governor who stated that contractors with a proven track record of service delivery would be patronised especially in the execution of community-based projects, noted that everyone cannot be accommodated in government through appointment as they can also be made employers of labour.
He explained that the move was in line with his campaign promise of raising more indigenous contractors to handle projects, thereby checkmating capital flight.
Consequently, he urged the youths to sharpen their skills and showcase their expertise for government patronage, adding that his administration was ready to support their endeavours.
He commended the dexterity of the CEO U&K, Engr. Ukeme Peters in project execution and assured him of another contract if the Spring Road construction was completed within the scheduled delivery period of five months and advised the company to adhere to project specifications.
“What we are trying to do is to show the capacity of our youths. I would like to thank his mentor, Engr. Uwem Okoko. I told him during the campaigns that I wanted to produce more HENSEKs in Akwa Ibom State.
“He is the father of them all as far as Akwa Ibom is concerned but we need to produce younger people and he promised me that he was going to assist in mentoring them.
“Engr. Ukeme is one of his mentees. We have tested him in small things and he has shown his capacity in performance.
“I want the youths of Akwa Ibom to know that if we find them capable of doing anything positive that could contribute to our development, we will use them to do those things.
“I think that is the message we are trying to send. It is not enough for youths to indulge in begging. It is necessary for our youths to have handwork so that we can recommend and engage them positively when we need their services.
“As we go around to community and rural-based projects, we need those young people and it is important to go to the Ministry of Works to get registered, show us the samples of small things you have done and we will encourage you to do much more. When I find you worthy, we will use you positively and we will give you something to do.
“Not everyone can have appointments in Government. You yourself can be an employer of labour. As it is today, you can imagine the number of persons this man will employ. He has given me three months, but I am giving him five months.
“I want to promise you if we commission this road by the end of January next year on that spot, I will give you another job. Please put in your best and follow the standard,” he stated.
The governor revealed that his office would set up a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee to evaluate projects and report to him directly to ensure the delivery of quality jobs for the citizenry.
He advised companies undertaking various projects against compromising the committee, warning that he would not hesitate to dissolve the committee when their integrity is questioned and charged construction firms to stop wrongful termination of drains to avoid erosion and water log experienced in some areas.