By Edidiong STEPHEN
The Akwa Ibom State Government Sports Centre project at Ikot Itina, Mbak Ishiet, Onna LGA is to be completed and inaugurated on May 29 this year.
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Uko stated this monday while conducting members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Youth, Sports and Security around some projects currently embarked upon by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The committee, comprising its Chairman and member for Ikono State Constituency, Mr. Victor Udofia, Mr. Nse Essien, Mr. Idongesit Ituen, Mr. Mark Esset, Mr. Emmanuel Ekpenyong and Mr. Uduak Uduodo, touched down at the project site at about one o’clock monday afternoon in company of selected journalists from within and outside the state.
Speaking at the project site, Mr. Uko said that Governor Udom Emmanuel remains passionate about taking sports development to schools hence the need for the project being sited in schools’ premises. While describing the current state of the facility as being ‘seventy to eighty percent complete’, Mr. Uko assured of the readiness of contractors handling the project to deliver same in record time.
The commissioner pointed out that the Governor is walking the talk on his promise of ten sports centres across the ten federal constituencies of the state and called on natives of the community to put the facility into prudent and judicious use while protecting it from vandals.
The Chairman of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Youth, Sports and Security and member for Ikono State Constituency, Mr. Victor Udofia said that his committee was on the Inspection Tour to perform its oversight function and to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the performance of the 2016 budget ahead of the expected passing into law of the 2017 budget.
He expressed satisfaction at the extent of work at the project site and commended the Ministry of Youth and Sports for their steadfastness and dedication to duty which has ensured the quick advancement of the project.
He thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for ensuring that democracy deliverables continue to fall on the doorsteps of citizens even in the face of economic challenges the country is currently undergoing.
Also speaking, the member representing Onna State Constituency, Mr. Nse Essien expressed the joy of his constituents at having the project sited in their community and called on youths of the area to avail themselves of the facility to sharpen their God-given sport talents.
When completed, it will be the second Sports Centre project constructed, in less than a year, by the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel following last year’s inauguration of the first Sports Centre project at West Itam Secondary School in Itu/Ibiono-Ibom Federal Constituency of the state.
Also inspected by the committee was the Uyo Township Stadium where remedial work is on-going. While conducting the team through the newly constructed administration block, changing rooms and a block of twenty toilet facilities, the Commissioner pointed out that the new look stadium has recently been approved for Nigeria National League matches having previously lost accreditation for league matches due to the hitherto deplorable state of the stadium.
Mr. Uko noted that the on-going remedial work at the stadium was part of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s directive to give a general face-lift to all stadia in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Mr. Uduak Odudoh commended the commissioner for his efforts towards interpreting state government vision for youth and sports in the state and urged the Ministry of Youth and Sports to use Uyo Township Stadium in complimentary capacity for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
At the West Itam Sports Centre where the committee also made a stop-over, the member representing Itu State Constituency, Mr. Idongesit Ituen noted minor damages on the basketball rim, a portion of the handball court and the perimeter gauss wire fence of the volleyball court while also pointing out the poor state of the football field. He noted that the high porosity and low compatibility of the football field has prevented football competitions from being held at the sports centre and called on the Ministry to make urgent steps to correct the anomalies.
Responding, the Commissioner attributed the minor damages to wear and tear occasioned by the consistent use of the facility. He said his Ministry has set up a high powered committee saddled with the maintenance of the facility.
At the NYSC Camp in Ikot Itie Idung, Nsit Atai LGA the team expressed total satisfaction with the extent of on-going construction work on several new hostels, medical centre and conference hall. Also on the commissioner’s entourage were the Permanent Secretary, Coach Aniedi Dickson, Director of Sports, Coach Lawrence Iquaibom and Head of Account. Mr. Godwin Ibanga.