Akpabio Should Be Held Responsible For The Abandoned N5.6bn Science Park project in Akwa Ibom, A Political Group Tells Government
A socio-political group under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Good Governance, has tackled the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West, Godswill Akpabio, for the failure of the Ibom Science Project to see the light of the day after about N5.3bn was invested in it.
Sen. Akpabio had cited alleged mismanagement of the project’s fund and the proximity of its location to erosion-prone environment as reasons for abandoning it.
Naija News Understands that the group, in a press statement has signed by its president, Ubon Benjamin and secretary, Effiom Antai, alleged that Akpabio failed to develop the park for political reasons.
According to the statement, “After thorough research and investigation we arrived at the following that Akpabio deliberately and for political reasons failed to complete the development of the state Science Park for which the state government has committed much resources to and which had the capacity to have changed the face of ICT and place the state at the forefront of ICT research and development in the country
“The former Governor, now senator mismanaged science equipment earlier acquired and installed by his predecessor, Obong Victor Attah and commissioned by the then President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo for 9 premier schools, located in different parts of the state to boasting teaching and learning of science education at the secondary level and act as spring board for an ICT and science revolution in Akwa Ibom state.”
The group also alleged that Senator Akpabio failed to follow laid-down plans for the development of the state University of Science and Technology, located at Ikot Akpandem. They said he converted it from its specialised status to a conventional university, thereby distorting the idea behind the setting up of the university.
Akpabio’s action, the group claimed, had denied thousands of students and indigenes of the state an opportunity to exploit the synergy that could have resulted from the capacities of the two projects.
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— Flying High (@FlyingH22965334) December 27, 2018
However, Senator Godswill Akpabio’s media aide, Anietie Ekong, while reacting to the allegations, quoted the Senator to have said that two things were wrong with the Science park project.
The first was the location, which according to him, “no matter the building you put there such a building is threatened by erosion and it will cost you more to arrest this factor than the cost of the project itself.”
Secondly, “The project is prone to probing of the EFCC because the total cost of the project was N5.6 billion and the Attah’s administration paid N5.3 billion upfront and the work done is not up to N400 million.
“If a project is N5.6 billion and the government paid N5.3 billion upfront you would expect the contractor to move the project to a reasonable level.
“With N5.6 billion project and N5.3 billion paid up front, I don’t think I should touch that project. You will not advise me to touch that project unless the contractor can give account of how he utilized the N5.3 billion he collected from Akwa Ibom state government and why work done on round is not up to N300 million”, Akpabio was quoted to have said.