The Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA) has sealed a partnership deal with the ministry of Lands and Water Resources on strategic and sustainable development of communities.
CRBDA managing director, Mr Bassey Mkposong, disclosed this Thursday, when he led his team on a courtesy call on the commissioner for lands and water resources, Mr IniobongEkong, in Uyo.
Nkposong, an engineer, lamented that in spite of the enormous opportunities for both states in his parastatal, Akwa Ibom could not tap the slightest of its entitlements, due mainly to failure of cooperation from communities and lack of interest by stakeholders.
He regreted that the agency could not access the vast areas of land “graciously given to them by Governor Udom Emmanuel in three locations”, due to logistics, saying “we need flying boats and ferries, since miscreants have taken over the waterways”.
“CRBDA is a Federal Government agency and we have contributed greatly to the achievements of this government. That is why we have come here to seek this partnership. All these can be captured in the budget to help us create jobs and open up villages.
“Community is the cankerworm against our agency’s achievements. Large farms belonging to the agency are inaccessible because the community isn’t cooperative.
“Sometimes, they block you, forcefully take your working equipment and chase you out of the place. From my years of experience, I can tell you that northerners are more receptive of developments than southerners.
“Designs have been made for Nkari Dam. We ensure that we put a budgetary allocation for the project on a yearly basis. There’s also a Dam at Ibiono Ibom and the water treatment plant has been installed. But the state government is yet to begin it’sresponsibility of distributing the water”, he said.
In his reaction, the commissioner for lands and water resources, Mr Iniobong Ekong, regretted that people could work against governments’ efforts.
Ekong who thanked the agency for resisting anti-development activities of communities, and for practically bringing development to the doorsteps of Akwa Ibom people, promised that the ministry will work with the agency to attract what belongs to the state.
“I thank the CRBDA for finding it necessary to break the rules in making sure the rights and privileges of Akwa Ibom people are protected.
“I am embarrassed to understand that we are our own albatross. I have carefully taken note of those grey areas. We have a responsibility as government and individuals to do our parts to ensure our citizens get maximum benefit from government.
“I am going to ensure that I interface positively with every platform that would help us to create opportunities for our people.
“I sincerely appreciate you, Mr MD, for taking this upon yourself to reach out to us. Indeed, this is a clear case of a teacher practically begging his students to pass his exams”.
Noting that Akwa Ibom is one of the most blessed states that produces the wealth of the nation, the commissioner charged staff of his ministry to do their best to ensure the right proportion of development gets to the state.
“The resources that make Nigeria what it is, come from here. It is ironical that we can own the resources that feeds this nation and at the same time shy away from tapping from it.
“We are ready to partner with you, because in your own bowels are plenty items that we must take home for the benefits of our people. Thank you for coming,” Ekong said.