The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Benedict Ayade has given kudos to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for coming to its rescue in undertaking the emergency repairs of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene-Aba Federal Highway.
Prof Ayade was speaking during a courtesy visit by the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Mrs. Ibim Semenetari and other directors of the Commission at the Government House, Calabar, yesterday.
He thanked the NDDC for boosting the revenue of the state and revitalizing its economy through the singular act of restoring the major gateway to the state which had virtually collapsed. “The Calabar-Itu Road repairs has helped us to raise our revenue profile and re-invigorate our economy. In fact, the Commission has directly put money into our pockets and helped our budget.
Before now the road to Calabar was virtually cut off, until the NDDC intervened. Prior to that intervention you could not access Ikom from Calabar without going through Ebonyi State. Our state was more or less divided into two because of the very bad road. The Obudu cattle ranch was totally cut off from the rest of the state.
He noted: “If not for the timely intervention of the NDDC, the annual Calabar Carnival would have been a disaster. This is because access to the state capital from both Itu and Ikom roads had been cut off. It was shear nightmare for us before now.”
“We must celebrate the NDDC and Mrs. Semenitari for coming to our rescue. I am even more surprised that she is ready to go through the pains of making the journey to Ikom. I wish her well as she goes through the risk of going to Ikom.”
The Governor declared that Mrs. Semenitari would move to greater heights after her assignment at the NDDC. In recognition of her achievements, we have decided that the flame night for the 2016 Calabar Carnival will be lit by Ibim Semenitari. “I can spend a whole day celebrating the
NDDC and Ibim. They deserve all our praises.”
Prof. Ayade spared no adjective in hailing the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, describing her as a woman with the heart of gold. He said: “Looking at her gives you the feeling that we have a future in this country. She has demonstrated an uncommon selflessness and kindness to the weak as represented by Cross River State in the midst of other Niger Delta states.”
“Cross River State is like a weeping child, since all our oil wells have been taken away. Despite our disadvantaged position, NDDC has continued to provide development projects to our communities. You can understand our joy when we learnt of the visit by the Commission’s directors. This is more so, given that our state is the weakest link in the NDDC chain, with very little coming from oil contributions and because we now have very little to bring to the table. Even in the face of this, the NDDC did not abandoned us.”
Mrs. Semenitari told the governor that the NDDC directors were in the state to commission completed projects as well as inspect on-going ones. She said that it was important to visit the governor, especially now that a lot of work was going on in the state, stating that the Commission placed a lot of premium on project inspection.
She added: “We want to hold our contractors accountable on all projects being executed by us. In doing this, we need the assistance of the state governments in the region. We expect the governors to help us monitor our projects.”
Mrs. Semenitari commended the governor for collaborating with the NDDC in the emergency repairs at the Calabar-Itu Road and other projects.