From Judex Okoro, Calabar
President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated Erosion and Flood control project at Uyuanga-Ojor-Ufumkpa-Owai in Akamkpa local government area of Cross River state.
The project worth over seven hundred million naira (N700, 000 000) was executed by the Ecological Fund Office in the office of the Secretary to the government of the federation. It was approved in 2018 and awarded by the federal executive council in 2019.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony in Ufumkpa, President Buhari said that the project was one of the 23-ecological interventions in the second phase implemented across the six geopolitical zones.
Buhari, represented by the Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, said the project is a testament of his government’s commitment to developing all parts of the country evenly.
He said the project is expected to address the devastating effects of erosion and flood menace and improve motorable road to the communities.
According to him, “the completion of this project underscores the federal government’s concerted efforts and sincerity in tackling problems of its citizens and making life more meaningful. I have no doubt that this intervention will bring a huge relief to the communities which have had to cope with ecological challenges for years.
“It is a testimony to the present administration’s promise that no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration.
“We urge the benefiting communities to take ownership and maintain the project to reduce the dangers to lives and properties associated with erosion and persistent flooding that had been experienced in recent times”.
On her part, former Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita who nominated the project, commended the federal governemnt for their prompt approval and support throughout the duration of the project.
Speaking also, the Permanent Secretary in the Ecological Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal, who was represented by Engr. Udochi Nwachuku, Deputy Director, Soil and Erosion Control, enjoined members of the communities to ensure that government’s investment in the project is not wasted.
She said the project is expected to achieve the dual purpose of enabling the host communities to takeover and exercise ownership over it and to ensure its maintenance and sustainability.
Commending the federal government for the intervention,
the Commissioner of Environment Cross River State, Mr. Mfon Bassey, noted that it was in line with the efforts of the state government to ensure that people living in erosion prone areas are properly protected.