Mr. Ephraim Akparawa Inyang Eyen, the Hon. Commissioner for Works for Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday, the 3rd of January 2017, the first working day of the year, played host to a select team of Umu Aro under the auspices of Nzuko Aro, who were in his office at Old Secretariat, Uyo to thank the government for the ongoing construction of the Ikpe Ikot Nkon- Obotme-Arochukwu road, popularly known as ‘Uzo Nkana’.
Facilitated by Mazi Okey Peter Nkem, and the visiting team included Mazi Nwosu Nwaka, 2nd Vice President General of Nzuko Aro, Deacon Kingsley Kanu Okoro (Kingmore), Mazi J.C. Imuoh, Mazi Ernie Onwumere, Ms Erinma Oti and Ugo Okoro.
Receiving the team in his office, Mr. Eyen expressed happiness on the visit and assured that the project which has an eighteen-month completion period will be met. He explained to the delegation that the Akwa Ibom State government had signed an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order with the contractor handling the project, Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Limited and that work was scheduled to commence on the 102 meter bridge as well from the Arochukwu end of the road before the end of January.
He stated that the contractors informed him that they were making arrangements to move over to the Aro end of the road. He believes that when the road is completed, it will have a multiplier effect on the economy of Akwa Ibom as people from Arochukwu and its environs will patronize the Akwa Ibom airport while agricultural produce from the neigbouring states will be transported in record time. Mr. Eyen described the facilitator of the visit, Mazi Okey Peter Nkem, as a brother and not a friend, recalling their close working relationship in the past.
Responding, Mazi Nwosu Nwaka, thanked the Commissioner first for his lavish hospitality to the team and for his untiring efforts that led to the award of the road contract. He described the time spent with Mr. Eyen as richly fulfilling and educative. Mazi Nwaka presented a letter to the commissioner on behalf of His Majesty, Eze Aro, the President General of Nzuko Aro and the entire people of the kingdom stating their desire to pay a courtesy visit to His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
The commissioner was also presented with Aro traditional gifts while the Managing Editor of Aro News, Ugo Okoro presented to him copies of the December edition of Aro News which dedicated a full colour page to Nkana road story.
Investigations by Aro News reveal that the contractor has actually fulfilled his promise by crossing over to the Aro end of the road where work is ongoing as well as starting preliminary works on the bridge.