9th July, 2012
Out of the 245 border communities in Cross River State, southsouth Nigeria, the State Border Communities Development Commission, has intervened in 40 of them by establishing projects to enhance the living standard of the people.
Leo Aggrey, the Director General of the commission who made this revelation in Calabar, the state capital, said Senator Liyel Imoke, the governor of the state, has so far spent N1.7 billion on projects such as rehabilitation of schools, police stations, police quarters, hospital facilities and water projects for the communities.
According to him, 14 of the 18 local governments areas of the state share borders with other states, which makes the task of reaching all the communities an enormous responsibility.
“Some of the communities have no form of government presence with basic amenities like water, desks for school children, and health centres, and the Imoke government is committed to reaching every community in the state even with the paucity of funds in the state,” he said.
He said to position the border communities on equal pedestal and privileges with the rest of the state on education, health, security, and sanitation infrastructure, “we have constructed five school blocks at Abonkip in Obudu, Nyanya –Idigwe in Bekwara, Okwanwo in Boki, Eja in Obubra, Idebe Offiong Umo in Akpabuyo.”
On the health sector Aggrey said the Commission has constructed five health centres in Ukpirinyi, Oforji-Okpitumo in Obubra, Isong Inyang in Odukpani, Okorva in Etung and New Ekuri in Akamkpa while 17 boreholes have been constucted in Bagga Market in Obanlikwu, Bebuabong, Ikwomikwu in Mgbenege in Obudu and Ikun Urugbam, and Abanwan in Biase, Ubere Ufum and Esuk Mba in Bakassi; Emin Ekpon and Adadama in Abi local government area.
He said the citing of projects is based on the assessment needs of the communities so that “the projects that affect the lives of the people are what we establish for the community not just at random. It is on that score that places like Amana in Obanlikwu, Otugbor Aliforkpa in Yala, Biaju in Boki and Esuk Ewa Effiom in Akpabuyo and Ekpene Esuk Esighi in Bakassi we gave them health centres and not boreholes.”
The commission, he said, intends to complete the 50 projects it is currently executing by August 2012 while plans are on to begin work in Ebijakara which was destroyed in 2005 during a communal conflict