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Commissioner Decries Past Government Failures In Cross River’s Transportation System

The Cross River State Ministry of Transportation has acknowledged that Governor Bassey Otu’s administration took up the Ministry from scratch, saying that some of the challenges the Ministry faces are relics of the old order, which can not be washed away overnight.

The decay in the Ministry was acknowledged by the Commissioner for Transport, Ekpenyong Cobham, during a stakeholder engagement held via zoon by the Cross River Movement (TCRM) hosted by Mr. Iso Bassey.

Ekpenyong, who also hinted that a contract for the restoration of new street lights for the State capital Calabar, was awarded last year, said the Ministry has resolved to take up its responsibilities one at a time.

“First of all, one of the biggest challenges of the state government as it relates to public transportation is traffic obstruction and the littering of the city with trucks and tankers. Plans are in the advanced stage under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, to bring in investors who are going to build a four thousand-capacity trailer park and restorative the mass transit scheme to help bring down the cost of transportation; its work in progress.”

Ekpenyong continued,  “If you look around the city center, you will see that we have begun the restoration of our bus stops, we plan to also build 50 more bus stops so that haphazard dropping and picking of passengers which creates a lot of traffic challenges will be behind us.

“Government is supposed to be a continuum, but when a government comes in and you are challenged by the fact that you don’t have a reasonable foundation to build on, you will start from scratch. Basically in my ministry, we’re starting from scratch. Am saying this with all sense of modesty. We had to set the foundation because some of the challenges we are facing today are relics of the old order and you can not wash them away overnight.

Founder of Offiong Ikpeme Foundation Mr. Offiong Ikpeme posited that “From what I have seen recently in the State, there is a lot of development, we are seeing certain changes in the State. But like the bypass area, the tankers are causing difficulties, and the roads are terrible.”

Drawing the attention of the State government to traffic and other matters, Political Analyst and Editor-in-Chief of Negroid Haven Effio-ita Nyok, lamented the state of the Odukpani road and called for more efforts towards maritime transportation in the state, as well as a policy to regulate the number of passengers stuffed in public vehicles.”

The TCRM engagement series is geared at ensuring good governance in Cross River State.