He said the road which was started during the administration of his predecessor and current Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, is a federal project.
The governor thanked Senator Lawan, 62, who is representing Yobe North Senatorial District, telling him to be ready to return to commission more projects.
Governor Emmanuel also appealed to the Senator to move a motion that International Oil Companies (IOCs) should relocate to Akwa Ibom.
“We have commissioned numerous roads but the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene gives me what I call exceeding joy,” Governor Emmanuel said. “I don’t have time and won’t go into the history of the road but I just want to appreciate different communities that made sure that the project has gone through. Let me appreciate them for their cooperation. Let me also thank the youths. I think I have never for one day received a report that the youths have disturbed the work in any way. So let me appreciate the youths.”
He went on: “The road we are commissioning today is a proper federal government road. But because this road is into the heart of our state, we could not wait. So we decided to undertake it. I also believe you drop a gavel so that the Minister of Works can pass our paper and reimburse us for doing the work for him. I am just making an appeal as a brother.
“We are expecting a whole lot from the federal government; we need to be supported, we need to be encouraged.”
While noting that the road is a gateway from other parts of the country, Governor Emmanuel pledged to complete other gateways including the much-talked Airport-Nsit Atai-Okobo Road, adding that the Senate President should disregard whatsoever he must have read about the road on social media.
The 25km road links seven local government areas: Uyo, Itu, Ibiono, Ikono, Abak, Essien Udim and Ikot Ekpene. (C) AKSG Govt House Media.
Speaking, Senator Lawan described the governor as a man of “justice, peace, progress, development” and commended him for continuing in the project, noting that “it demonstrates your love for Akwa Ibom state and the people of Ikot Ekpene”.
“What you have done here is to show the way on how we can develop the country and our communities. You are right about demanding reimbursement from the federal government. For me, you deserve more than a refund.
“I will join you in talking to the federal minister of lands and housing to present the request for a refund of this road because I believe that it will encourage you – and other states, to do the same.”
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