It’s a familiar burden that every leader, from whatsoever circle, be criticized for both genuine and/or manipulated reasons.
The Works’ Commissioner, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, being a Superintendent-General of a pivotal ministry in the state has been a serial victim of the furnace of ill critique and sorta pillory from those directly or indirectly affected by his works ethos, unassuming personality and towering antecedents in the state.
And like an ardent believer in the School of Thought which avers that ” echoes of criticisms when heard from afar could be liken to applause and goodwill”, the Works’ Commissioner, seemingly, has taken up the mandate of his work up upon his chest; developing thick skin against distraction and an engaging ear-sight for good critique. That, methink, is required of a leader whose job inadvertently exposes him to the bout of mixed critiques. And that, it is observed, the Works’ Commissioner has done to maintain his focus and goal-driven target in the ever-demanding ministry such as his.
In recent times, it’s no more news that many individuals including a state lawmaker from Mkpat Enin Local Government have raised doubt as to the quality of works done by the Works’ Ministry in the past 5 years in the state as well as it’s ability to complete the spate of ongoing projects currently undertaken by the ministry under the supervision of Mr Inyang-Eyen.
The lawmaker, according to reports, however propelled by one failed portion of a road currently ongoing construction in his locality wrapped all the roads constructed under the current administration as lacking in quality and likely to fail in the nearest future.
The said comment, however attempts to rob off the efforts of the government and Works Ministry in the state; and capable of projecting the state road infrastructural edifices in bad light – even when the roads are still under construction?
Conversely, comments like the foregoing especially when it comes from an authority is a potent attempt to open the government to a feast of cankers and undermining the huge efforts of the Works Commissioner who has so far put in his best in the sector.
Again, the insinuation that Ephraim Inyang-eyen is working on the directives of his Boss to flagoff projects it may not possibly execute in the lifetime of the administration is also rife. Fact is, Projects are sited to solve problems, attend to needs. No administration, past and present that can boast of not leaving behind un/near completion of projects. Though this may not be the case here.
Meanwhile, propelled by the misgivings about the ongoing projects undertaken in the state, the
Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel, Tuesday 26th November, 2019, took time off his office schedule to inspect on-going intervention and development projects executed across the state. Projects inspected include ; Erosion Intervention Project at the failed portion of Calabar-Itu road, Ntak Inyang Community in Itu LGA, ongoing Fly Over Project at Ikot Oku Ikono/ Ekom Iman roundabout, Uyo LGA, Uyo Etinan road project / Etinan roundabout, Etinan LGA, Ekpene Ukpa Bridge, Etinan LGA, Etinan / Ndon Eyio alinging with the East West road, Onna LGA. Ikot Akpatek/ Ikwe – Odio road, Onna LGA, ongoing Jetty Project at Ikot Abidang, Onna LGA.
The inspection which was led by the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen and his team from the Ministry of Works took Gov Udom round the ongoing construction project site in the state.
In appreciation, Mr Udom Emmanuel commended the effort of Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen and the entire Ministry of Works and also appreciated the contractor handling the underground erosion that has cut off some sections of calabar-Itu highway on the level of work done and assured that other failed portion would be rehabilitated.
Gov Udom added that as a road being used by all Nigerians, including Akwa Ibom people, that he needed not to wait for the intervention of the federal government for the sake of Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians in general.
Another issue is that of the state government’s patronage to local engineers/contractors in the state. It is a fact that our local contractors have overtime shown capacity through quality work delivery from the past administrations till date.
Going by this antecedence, it would be appalling leaving them in the lurk while they have the needed expertise to deliver. They need to be developed.
The only differentce between foreign and local engineers is the heavy duty equipment that the foreign companies are using of which they included it on their proposals/bills which indirectly is our state government that buys those equipments in most cases and that’s why you’ll see them abandoning it at the site at the completion of the particular work. Reason because they can’t take to everywhere and or go back with those machines. These equipments too could be hired for the same task and or if our local engineering firms if financially equipped properly can also purchase same, while the authorities caution them to ensure quality work delivery.
Much has also been said about timely delivery of projects by contractors. The delay in completion of projects handled by contractors shouldn’t be blamed on the Works’ Ministry, because funding is sourced from the state coffers; and when the state is faced with challenges, the Ministry would be handicapped to act.
The government is a work in progress and needs the support and encouragement of the people to succeed, not the wiping of sentiment which may pull the government and the society down.
Inyang-Eyen has shown capacity, passion and panache in the discharge of his assigned duty in the state. His work rate today stands as a potent evidence of his commitment and delivery and therefore natural refutes insinuations and ill criticism that may attempt to chalk up his performance.
He might not be a saint or infallible, but the Works’ Commissioner has, in the umpteenth time, made a bold statement for the current administration. For reasons of his excellent track record, he has risen above hate and ill critique!
Iniubong ANAKO is a Public/Political Affairs Analysis