Obiajunwo Paul, Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is taking steps to assist the military to check the gully erosion ravaging some parts of the Eburutu Military Cantonment in Calabar, Cross River State.
The Chairman of the NDDC board, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw and the Managing Director, Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia made the pledge when they were taken round the erosion sites yesterday by the Commanding Officer of the 146 battalion, Major David Mamuno.
At one of the sites, a 2 storey building, which used to serve as living quarters for soldiers, was on the verge of collapse. The road in front of the building was literally swallowed by a ravine that was now a big threat to the buildings around it.
Reacting to the devastation, the NDDC Managing Director Sir Bassey Dan-Abia said urgent remedial work was needed to save the building that was at the risk of being eroded by the menacing gully.
“We came for a preliminary inspection to enable us assess the situation and determine how best to tackle the problem. We will surely intervene because the military is a very important institution that must be supported to discharge its duties to our country,” he said.
In his own reaction, Senator Ewa-Henshaw said that the military would continue to enjoy the support of the NDDC because of its strategic role of defending lives and properties, adding that for the commission to succeed as an interventionist agency, it would always rely on the military for adequate security.
He noted that the commission needed a secure atmosphere to carry out its task of addressing the challenges of developing the Niger Delta.
The NDDC team also inspected the 200-bed Specialist Hospital in Ikom, which was at the roofing stage.
Giving details of the project to the commission’s Chairman and the Managing Director, Mr. Akpatre Okon Ndaw, a Principal Manager in the Cross River State office of the NDDC, observed that the hospital would have the capacity to handle high profile cases that often took rich people outside the country.
According to him, “the hospital had provision for various specialist components, including Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), dental, ophthalmology and pediatrics units. It would also provide services in obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, internal medicine, radiology and community medicine.”
Mr. Ndaw further said that the hospital would bring specialist and professional treatment closer to the people of the state who are very far away from the capital in Calabar.