Over the years, the Information Drive in Uyo capital city has come to be seen as that necessary road that everyone would love fixed, yet not lucky to be so treated. A contradiction of its name, Information Drive did not permit vehicular traffic through it.
From the days of the Military government up until recently, this one -kilometer road that leads to several media establishments in the state, has been in a rather poor state, despite repeated assurances to get it constructed. The road accommodates the Akwa Ibom Newspapers Corporation, publishers of Pioneer newspaper, the state chapter of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, the state Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the National Museum, and the Federal Character Commission, among others.
Apart from connecting Babangida Avenue with Aka -Etinan road, without the commuter necessarily passing through the ever busy Aka road/Babangida Avenue roundabout and the Aka -Nung Udoe roundabout, it makes the journey to the Ikot Akpan Abia axis and NTA Channel 12 Uyo axis, a lot smoother especially if one is coming from the state secretariat area of the city.
Following the pact between Governor Emmanuel and journalists as partners in the development of the state, the governor had late last year promised that he would make the road motorable for the first time.
It was not the first time this had been said, and reporters refused to report this part of news. Today, few months after that promise, Governor Emmanuel has constructed a beautiful road more or less to Akwa Ibom journalists and the inhabitants of that axis of the state capital.
This road, for the Elder Patrick Albert led NUJ executive, is an icing to a re-modelling and re-branding process currently embarked upon by the journalists at their state secretariat. The road billed for commissioning during the first anniversary of the Udom Emmmanuel -led administration, means that journalists can now easily assess their media/ICT center, the mini club house or office complex now becoming an imposing edifice at the secretariat.
It also means that there is no more excuse for any journalist to shy away from meetings and congresses as a result of the hitherto suicidal nature of the road while also giving a new image to the Image House that accommodates public relations professionals in their monthly meetings every last Thursday of the month.
In a recent interview with journalists during a project assessment tour, the state commissioner for Works Mr Ephraim Inyang had revealed that Governor Emmanuel with a tested and trusted disposition to integrity, has built a good reputation for Akwa Ibom state. He said that the economies of countries like England which cannot boast of any natural resources, are booming because of the integrity of its leaders and that is why people elsewhere take their businesses to such countries. In like manners, the renowned integrity of Governor Udom Emmanuel, means that investors and entrepreneurs are now willing more than ever to do business in the state.
An example of this is the Benest Technical Services, BTS, the construction company handling some of the road projects in the state, including the Information Drive. According to the Works Commissioner Mr Ephraim Inyang, the company is yet to be paid any mobilization for the project, yet it has delivered a world class road to the state.
The humble and motivational statesman, Elder Benjamin Udobia, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BTS has displayed an unwavering political support to the Akwa Ibom project, and by extension an uncompromising faith in the leadership of Mr Udom Emmanuel, as a governor that can be trusted.
As we now freely drive through Information Drive and other new roads in the state, it should be noted that the political will of Governor Emmanuel to transform the state in spite of the shortfall in accruing revenue, as well as the interest and commitment by stakeholders, are enough indicators that all hands must be on deck to steer the ship of Akwa Ibom to the greatness it is destined.
By: Essien Ndueso