OrderPaperToday – Senator Sabi Abdullahi from Niger State Senator has urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, consider an emergency intervention fund to the tune of N300 billion to rehabilitate bad roads.
The roads in Niger State are said to link economic corridors in the north and south of the country
Sen. Sabi (APC Niger North), coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules on Tuesday, noted with disbelief and shock the very ugly scene playing out in Niger State since February 24 till date.
He stated that heavy trucks and tanker drivers blocked all entry and exit roads to protest the horrible state of federal roads passing through the state.
The Senator also lamented the deplorable state of critical roads across the country and recalled that Niger State has the most extended federal road network of 2,263km out of 32,000km of national federal roads network.
“The federal roads in Niger state stretched from the Abuja – Kaduna end to the Jebba – Mokwa – Makera – Tegina – Birnin Gwarimpa – Kaduna road to the Mokwa – New Bussa – Agwara – Kigera end which lies to the border with the Republic of Benin,” he said, adding:
“The following are critical linkage roads within Niger State that provide logistical and vehicular movements between the North and South; especially the South West and North West Corridors.”
Speaking on the massive land area of Niger State at 76,363km (representing about 9% of the country’s total land area), Sabi said that all movements from North to South substantially traverse the state and that the massive haulage of heavy industrial goods puts great pressure on the roads due to overloading of goods such as petroleum products, iron rods, cement, finished manufactured goods, machines and equipment, electronic materials and goods, building materials etc.
He said it was alarming “that all the major link roads have totally failed with fatal accidents occurring on a daily basis with loss of lives, goods and vehicles. A development that angered the truck and tanker drivers to begin the protest as the only available alternative route to exit the state is the Bida – Minna road which is currently undergoing construction. This road itself is a failed road with many portions that cannot withstand any heavy truck movement as it is.”
Sabi stated further that the current funding rate of federal roads in the state is dismal and cannot deliver results, therefore, leading to many of the projects being abandoned by contractors.
He expressed sadness on the abandoned main trunk road from Jebba – Mokwa – Tegina – Kaduna, even though contracts have been awarded for the Jebba – Tegina sections 1 and 2 since 2028. Sabi added that the project was abandoned due to insufficient funds to mobilize the contractors to rehabilitate bad roads.
Accordingly, in its resolutions, the Senate urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the critical roads in Niger state linking economic corridors in the north and south. It also urged the Federal Government to direct the Federal Ministry of Works to carry out emergency stabilization of the failed portions of Bida – Lapai – Lambatta road to ease the current suffering and rate of accidents and loss of goods and investments in the road.
The red chamber further urged the Federal Government to consider an emergency intervention fund for the critical roads in Niger State to the tune of N300 billion. This is to concurrently fix and to rehabilitate bad roads as part of the infrastructure rehabilitation efforts of the government to support ease of business and economic recovery across the country.
It also resolved that a national legislative roundtable on the state of infrastructure for economic development be convoked as doing so will bring all stakeholders in the transport and logistics industries together to identify urgent actions to address the current challenges and rehabilitate bad roads.
According to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, these resolutions would facilitate the infrastructure rehabilitation efforts of the government to support ease of business and economic recovery.