Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel has debunked insinuations from certain groups of persons that the 21-Storey Smart building constructed by VKS Nigeria construction Limited has been abandoned, assuring that the building was100 per cent completed.
He put the records straight while fielding questions from Journalists on the issue at the weekend in Uyo during a media interaction to mark his six years in office as well as celebration of 22 years of unbroken democracy in Nigeria.
He explained that the Smart building also known as Dakkada Towers would have been opended on May 2021, but for government decision to commission it when tenants start paying for the rent.
According to him, government decision stemmed from the experience of the immediate past administration where the Four-Point by Sheraton hotel was commissioned but has not been put to use till date.
“As I am standing here talking to you, the Smart building is 100 percent completed. It is not an abandoned project. You have every freedom to go and check. I am sure some of you have checked it already.
“Sometime ago I called stakeholders in this same place and we were thinking of opening it this last May, but we said let us not open it until we put tenants. We run a very transparent government, so any decision we take is in the best interest of our people.
“Right now we are getting potential tenants but they have not paid rents. Once they start paying rent, and when we have tenants we will commission that building. You can take a tour of the building and be rest assured that it is one hundred percent completed, so do you count that as an uncompleted project”
The Governor also explained that he didn’t inherit a four-Point by Sheraton hotel, stressing that he only met the hotel building that was 64 per cent completed.
He stressed that people should be able to differentiate between a building and a hotel, noting that currently the hotel is 99 percent completed.
“A building is not a hotel. Let us not confuse ourselves. There is a difference between a building and a hotel. There are so many things that make a hotel. So, if you say I inherited the building I agree, but I didn’t inherit a hotel.
“I inherited that hotel building 64 per cent completed. We have the records, it can be provided, figures don’t lie. There are a lot of things that are put into consideration. But trust us, today we are 99 percent ready, less than 1per cent is remaining.
“What is remaining can be done within three months. So let us not keep confusing ourselves in calling a building a hotel. It is just like if I put up a building and then call it a hospital.
“If you tell me I inherited a building it is a different ball game, so I need to clarify that.
The present government, don’t let go those things we met on ground for the benefit of everybody”, he said.
The governor called on the Federal Government to liberalise the power sector to allow state governors generate and distribute power to its citizens.
He called on the people to be ready to support government by purchasing their prepaid meters and to settle their bills promptly, stressing that his administration was bent on ensuring that there was adequate power supply across the 31 local government areas of the state by 2022.
He said in spite of the economic and security challenges that confronted the country, his administration had made maximum use of the available resources to provide basic infrastructure to the people.
The governor said that in the last six years, his administration has attracted investors to the state through good road network, and a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
Emmanuel explained that there had been improvement in the area of road infrastructure, education, agriculture, rural development, aviation and healthcare delivery in the state.
He, however, said there were certain economic indices that could not be controlled by anyone which has affected the performance of his administration.
“Apart from economic and security challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the whole world has affected our performance.
“As a governor, you don’t control policies. If you have that limitation, you can’t perform optimally.
“There are a lot of things you will like to do but you don’t get policy support,” he said.
The governor appealed for more support from Akwa Ibom people to perform better.
He assured the people that everything the government was doing was in the best interest of all the citizens.