BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The Senator representing the Southern Senatorial District of the State, Senator Gershom Bassey, has called for the release of adequate funds and for the completion of the entire Calabar-Itu highway to end the ever increasing sufferings of the people plying the road.
He made the plea at the Senate, while supporting a motion moved by Sen. Albert Bassey for the award of contract for the complete construction of the Calabar-Itu highway.
He said the call become necessary as many people have lost their lives as a result of the deplorable condition of the road from Cross River to Akwa Ibom axis.
According to Sen. Gershom Bassey, even though Julius Berger was awarded the construction of the Calabar-Itu highway, there is a critical section of the road that was not awarded, and therefore called for a complete and total award of the entire road.
“Let me first of all, whole-heartedly put my weight behind Sen. Albert Bassey and his plea for Calabar-Itu road. There is a section of that road that is yet to be awarded. Even though Julius Berger was awarded this contract, there is a critical section of that road that is yet to be awarded.
“And so, I join Sen. Albert Bassey to plead for the funding of that project. I want to also plead with the executive that that road and the complete and total road should be awarded, including the unawarded section of that road.”
Contributing to the debate on the federal budget recently presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, Sen. Bassey lauded the initiative of Mr President in four thematic areas of economic recovery, promotion of economic diversification, enhanced competitiveness and social inclusion.
He, however, wants the executive to address the issue of funding for the maintenance of critical infrastructure like roads, which has only N30 billion in the 2021 projects for the 36,000km federal roads in the country.
The Senator also expressed concern about some of the inconsistencies in the budget like the raising of taxes, while the President wants to lift 100 million Nigerians from poverty in the next 10 years, and wants this to be addressed so that the country can achieve the lofty objectives of the budget.
“The President’s speech talks about four main thematic areas – economic recovery, promote economic diversification, enhanced
competitiveness and social inclusion. And then, overall it talks about lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years. These are really laudable objectives and I want to agree whole-heartedly with His Excellency, our President. But how are we going to do it? Because I see the budget, and there are some areas that I’m not quite clear about.”