Two billion naira meant for compensation of property owners affected by a construction of a section of the East West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom state appears to have been fraudulently diverted.
This was revealed at a meeting in Abuja between the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani and Contractors handling road project.
The federal government awarded the over 300 kilometer road project in 2006, known as the East West Road, to open up the Niger Delta region.
After the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs which inherited the project from the Ministry of Works, and billions of naira sunk in it, the road has not been completed.
This was the concern of the Minister, Pastor Usani, hence the meeting with contractors to ensure completion of the project.
He said it appeared the money was diverted for virement on the project without due approval.
Pastor Usani frowned at the collapse of some portions of the road which was still under construction and gave the assurance that funds were being sourced, including outside of budgetary allocations, for contractors to return to site and complete the project.
One of the Contractors, Mr. Ephrarim Tewolde attributed the slow pace of work on the road to inconsistent funding, but promised to improve when funds were made available.