By Endurance Onun/Lekan Macaulay:
Member representing Bekwarra in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ajang has moved for the establishment of a Multi-purpose and Auto-mobile City (Mechanic Village) in Calabar, the state capital.
In his motion, which he moved today, August 6th, during plenary, Hon. Ajang noted that in 2005 the then government of Donald Duke had acquired certain parcels of land for this purpose but could not see to the commissioning of the project.
Hon. Ajang, who noted that after the acquisition of a land at Ikot Ekpo district of Calabar Municipality for this purpose, by Gov. Donald Duke, an access road was opened to the area but its construction was not completed by the same Government, rather, by the successive Government of Sen. Liyel Imoke in 2013.
Ajang went further to note that after the Government of Sen. Liyel Imoke had opened the road to the site, the land was however abandoned by the government of the day, giving the residents the privilege of taking it back for their personal purposes.
Going further, Hon. Ajang stressed on the importance of a mechanic village in Calabar even as he begged his colleagues to see that the motion saw the light of day as the House, by the end of the day, should be able to advise the Executive Government on the need to establishing such a village in the state.
Supporting the motion, Hon. Godwin Akwaji of Obudu State Constituency registered that several automobile shops littered all about the state capital cause severe environmental defects which need to be properly curtailed.
Hon. Akwaji held that aside the environmental advantage an automobile city provides, it also could enhance opportunities for businesses to strive, especially as it will create an advanced window for young Cross Riverians with like skills to be encouraged to begin practicing.
According to Akwaji, some of the perpetrators of criminal activities often disguise as mechanics, howthat, with this village, it will be easy to overcome such ploys as the testimonies abound for Lagos, Owerri, Nnewi, Ibadan and other states where such villages had already been built.
Another contributor to the motion, Rt. Hon. Fred Osim of Ikom I State Constituency opined that with a mechanic village, it will be easy for anyone in need of automobile services to access these services at ease. Rt. Hon. Fred further informed that, health wise, the ears of residents around these littered mechanic shops are always endangered each time these mechanics attempt to kickstart vehicles they are working on; stressing that the mini mechanic village at Bedwell Street often cause serious traffic jam to commuters.
Calling on the State Government, member representing Bakassi, Rt. Hon. Ekpo Ekpo advised that for this vision to materialize the State Government has to put modalities; electricity, road, water, in place to quicken the creation and relocation to the site.
Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Ironbar of Akpabuyo State Constituency, while joining voice with Hon. Edward advised that the gesture of establishing a mechanic village should be extended to other urban centers in the state and not only Calabar.
After receiving more contributions from Rt Hon. Peter Odey, Rt. Hon. Nelson Ofem, and the rest, the Assembly resolved for the House’ Committee on Works & Infrastructure headed by Rt. Hon. Nelson Ofem of Yakurr I to take up the motion and find out what the challenge is and the possible work-force that needs to be in place for the village to be established. The House gave the Committee one month to finish work and report to the floor of House.