Uruan And The New Deal

Uruan And The New Deal
October 25 19:18 2017 Print This Article

The Udom administration has instituted and commenced a comprehensive
process to change the transportation narrative of the people of Uruan
Local Government through the construction of roads totaling about 53
kilometers and cutting across major economic hubs within the local
government as well as providing access to the largely agrarian
settlement which is bounded by Uyo, Itu, Nsit Atai and Okobo Local
Government Areas.

It goes without disputating that as a local government area, Uruan has
for long been enmeshed in the dearth of road infrastructure. Most of
their roads had become craters with erosion helping to exacerbate the
environmental damage. The level of decay accentuated to the point that
vehicular movement into Uruan, especially the hinterlands was not only
considered as a nightmarish experience but an impossible task

Arising from this unwholesome experience, Uruan people took to the
trenches against successive regimes in the State. They wore the label of
opposition largely for what they saw to be neglect by the successive
governments. The anger of the people raged more having once been part of
Uyo Local Government which has not just enjoyed mere facelift but
unprecedented transformation. As an instructive saying notes, when the
eyes notice lopsided disparity in a sharing, a tendency to be jealous
becomes compelling. Uruan people, a neighbour to Uyo and an adjoining
local government therefore watched with searing rage as Uyo morphed from
the local government they knew and once shared to a mega city of
national acclaim. As a people, they took solace in playing opposition
either as a result of anger or a way of attracting attention.

Well, either way, if it was a strategy, it has paid off handsomely as
the Udom administration is paying special attention to Uruan Local
Government Area. Uruan being one of Uyo’s closest neighbours, the
government of the day can be compared to a vision that has come at the
appointed time as captured in Habakkuk 2:3. Government is not only
expanding the State capital but also ensuring that access to the city of
Uyo by the neighbours is not cumbersome or made difficult by bad road
network. And having seen Uruan to be mired in that challenge, Governor
Udom decided to tackle the menace and give the people a true sense of
belonging for the first time since the state came to being. The case of
Uruan, therefore, is like a prayer finally answered.

Governor Udom Emmanuel’s new deal with the people of Uruan is an
enviable package. It covers the gamut of road to encouraging investors
and improving economic activities in the area. Perhaps, the one with the
most telling effect with direct bearing to the people is the ongoing
construction of 53 kilometers of roads spread across the local
government area which was flagged off recently on behalf of the governor
by the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen.
During the flagg-off, Inyangeyen stated that the construction of the
road was in line with Governor Emmanuel’s tradition of keeping the
promise. He said that the governor during campaigns had promised to fix
the road to encourage private investments sited in Uruan as well as
improve the economic activities of the people of the area. Inyangeyen
submitted that the roads would link up communities within the area and
enhance accessibility with other local government areas.

The roads flagged-off for construction include Mbiatok Itam – Mbiaya
– Idu road totaling 4.8 kilometers. It is the road that has the Akwa
Prime Hatchery; an already booming concern that has generated engagement
for Akwa Ibom people and stemmed capital flight from the State. The road
is therefore a strategic economic road that would impact in no small
measure on the activities of the people of Uruan in particular and the
general public who access the area with less difficulty to seek business
opportunities.

Another critical road is the Mbiaya Oku- Mbiakong-Idu road which is 9.1
kilometers. This road connects all of Uruan together. Roads in Uruan had
become so dilapidated that communities within the local government were
cut off from one another. With such isolation impeding integrated
economic activities as well as building mistrust among the people of
that community. It is heartwarming that this administration has
considered it important to rebuild them into a cohesive social unit by
linking the communities through road infrastructure. This is not only
socially expedient but also a moral imperative which only true leaders
exercise. Constructing the road is therefore a salutary undertaking.

The 8.5 kilometers Nduetong Oku- Ibiaku Uruan – Ekid Itam road is
another road project that the governor should be commended for many
reasons. The first reason is the courage. This is a road project that
would cost government humongous sum because of the terrain which is not
only erosion prone but has already suffered huge ecological damage. The
second reason is the benevolence inherent in supporting two major
private investments on that road to wit: Uyo City Polytechnic and Planet
FM. The road which has a 19 meter span bridge is both an encouragement
and a message to investors that the government is determined to build an
enabling environment that would help investments and initiatives to
thrive.

Atlantic FM, a federal government agency sits askance on a small hill
with cruel access to its station. Vehicles get stuck sometimes as they
make to access the station from the main road. Ofcourse, in addition to
the eyesore of the acess roads, the roads there have become a source of
constant embarrassment to guests who visit the station. The Akwa Ibom
State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Emmanuel
has decided to be a good landlord by extending his benevolence to the
area where the facility is located. Government has decided to construct
the 1 kilometer access road to the station. Also, to be constructed is
the Mbak-Anua – Ishiet road which is 18.4 Kilometers. The road which
has the popular Beach market that is a major economic hub would be
spurred from Mbak to Idu. With these roads, Uruan is certainly set for a
new deal.

But it is not in road construction alone that Uruan people have begun to
feel that there is a government. The people of Uruan who are largely
fishermen with many of them also engaged in the distilling of local gin
currently has the Akwa Prime hatchery at Mbiaya in Uruan. It is believed
that the presence of such a project in the area would encourage them to
venture into poultry business and be part of the myriad of value chain
the Hatchery yields. The Ranch in Adadia is also another business
venture the Udom administration has facilitated and encouraged to be
sited in Uruan. There is also the Green House which is also in Uruan and
the proposed Unity Estate at Ibiaku Eshiet. All these are what would
turn the economy of Uruan around and bring the people a new phase of
prosperity

It bears adding that just as it is said that no one can stop an idea
which time has come, it is clear that a governor that was meant to turn
the story of Uruan around had come and no one can stop him. In his
period, about 64 oil wells which were identified in Uruan since 1974 are
set and ready for operations. The company, OLPLOMO has constructed 3
onshore oil rigs at Adadia, Esuk Odu and Anakpa to commence exploitation
of oil and gas. Study has ascertained that the oil and gas deposits
found in the area would last for about 100 years.

But would Governor Emmanuel’s new deal with Uruan change their
political idiosyncrasy expressed perennially in its long romance with
the opposition? Life is a quid pro quo. It would be disheartening for
any Uruan person not to commend Governor Emmanuel and his administration
for bringing upon their landscape a new dawn. As they say, to whom much
is given, much is expected. Now is the time for Uruan people to show
that they are indeed a grateful people.

_JOE INIODU IS PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYSTKIUE_

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