COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ROAD MDAS AS HOUSE SEEKS ROAD REHAB

The Cross River House of Assembly has asked its Works and Infrastructure Committee to investigate the activities of the Ministry of Works and the Road Maintenance Agency (RMA), as the Legislature recently sought the rehabilitation of the deplorable roads by the Executive arm of government. The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams gave the probe charge after members discussed a motion on the need for the state government to urgently rehabilitate the bad roads across the state. Prelude to the charge came through a the motion the member
representing Boki II State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Hillary Bisong moved reminding the State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade that he was solely responsible for the provision of good roads and other social amenities for the people.

Bisong based his reminder on Section 20, Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution (amended) which he said placed on the state’s chief executive powers to protect and improve the environment, water, air, land forest and wildlife, pointing out that road infrastructure was an integral part of the environment which enhances the free movement of people, goods and services as the mainstay of the economy. “The issue of having good and accessible roads cannot be
emphasized as it adds to the exquisiteness of the state and attracts tourists to the state. The repair of roads should not be done during December because of Carnival. “Some major roads and streets in the state are in deplorable and
despicable state and need urgent attention. The state government should take urgent steps to return Calabar metropolis to its exquisite state,” he stressed. The Boki II state legislator expressed concern that the RMA was not carrying out the instructions of the state government by failing to maintain and rehabilitate failed portions of roads
in the metropolis.

The Deputy Speaker and member for Calabar South II, Rt. Hon. Joseph Bassey, Deputy Leader and Ikom I member, Rt. Hon. Fred Osim and Member for Obudu constituency, Hon. Godwin Akwaji all spoke in support of the motion.
Bassey felt dissatisfied with the road network in the state, calling for the investigation of the road maintenance levy paid by the citizens to ensure judicious use, while Osim noted that the deplorable conditions of some roads in Calabar were detrimental to the state government’s industrialization drive and listed those that need urgent attention. They include the collapsing Parliamentary Extension road, the Lemna portion of the Murtala Mohammed Highway, Scanobo through Odukpani section of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene/Calabar- Ikom-Katsina Ala highways.
Others identified by Hon. Akwaji that are in bad shape and requiring immediate repairs are the precincts of North West’s service station by the Bypass, Idundu road, and portions of the highway opposite the New State and Federal
Secretariat complexes among others. He lamented that bad roads have huge economic implications on motorists trying to cope with high maintenance costs. Following suit, the member representing Obudu State Constituency, Hon. Goodwin Akwaji likened the necessity of road network to the importance of arteries in human bodies, while, the Etung representative called on the relevant authorities to appear before the house and offer explanation.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Eteng Jonah Williams, charged the House Committees to live up to their oversight responsibilities. Though the resolution emanating from the motion was passed unanimously, Mofinews’s efforts to interview the Committee Chairman, Rt. Hon. Nelson Ofem on the progress of the investigation of relevant state government agencies proved abortive as he failed to answer several calls to his phone.>>>

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