By Magnus Effiong
The Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA) has replaced facilities and equipment which were destroyed and stolen during the EndSARS protest in 2020, its Managing Director, Engr Bassey Nkposong, has disclosed.
Engr Nkposong, who made this known in Calabar through the CRBDA Secretary/Legal Adviser, Barr Anietie Udoh, said the Basin Authority was determined to fulfil its mandate by rendering enhanced service to Cross River and Akwa Ibom people.
Lamenting the level of destruction meted on the company during the endSARS protest, the MD said “During that endSARS protest, the hoodlums penetrated every part of the basin village, offices and staff quarters, and to the greatest shock of my life, I saw equipment worth millions of Naira destroyed and some carted away, including personal belongings of staff.
“But to the glory of God, we have procured better and upgraded ones. We now have better sanitation/hygiene facilities, with solar-powered boreholes, across our catchment areas to tackle the challenge of open defecation.
“Apart from this, there is an increased activity in terms of infrastructures. Internal roads within the Basin community are being done with dispatch. The gatehouse is also complete with convenience facilities.
“We have upgraded our nursery/primary and secondary schools with new structures. The water factories facilities amongst others have all been restored while the new company laboratory will soon be completed. Internal roads are being opened up and management regards this as topmost priority.
“We are bent on rendering enhanced service so that the Basin Authority would answer to its name,” he stated, while conducting Journalists around the 84.56 hectares’ facilities in Ikot Omin, 8 miles where the Basin village is situated.
Also speaking, Spokesman for the company, Mr Jackson John, said the newly built 10,000 fingerings-capacity fish pond, upgraded from 5,000 fingerlings-capacity, would generate millions of Naira.
On the poultry farms, he said “before the protest, we had about 5,000 birds but now, we have capacity for about 10,000 broilers and layers.”
Inyang Umana, senior commercial officer and Ayuk Edwin, Agronomist Consultant of the Basin Development Authority corroborated, saying things were no more the same after the protest.
“I say so because, for instance, the mini integrated Songhai farm the company had before had been upgraded. We have an upgraded poultry, a fish pond and pigsty, mushroom garden, green house for the crops. The endSARS may have turned out to spur us up and to be candid, things are not as they were,” Umana submitted.
Supervised by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, the Cross River Basin Development Authority is one of the 12 River Basin development authorities established in 1976 to serve both Cross River and Akwa Ibom states with a mandate to develop water resources and control flood and erosion in its catchment areas.