HomeGeneral NewsBlockage: We’ll open Minna-Bida Road only after rehabilitation- Official
Blockage: We’ll open Minna-Bida Road only after rehabilitation- Official
Ismail Abdulaziz September 25, 2021 3 min read
The state has quite limited resources and so there is no better time to draw the attention of the federal government to intervene than now.
By Obinna Unaeze
Alhaji Muhammad Idris, the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, made this known on Friday while briefing newsmen in Minna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Idris was reacting to Friday’s protest by truck drivers who used their vehicles to block the roads leading into and out of the state.
Malam Abdullahi Mohammed, a tanker driver during the protest in Bida, on Friday told NAN that the blocking of the road by the state government for the past six months has worsened the already bad Bida/Lapai/Lambata roads which they have been managing as alternative route.
They vowed not to remove their vehicles until the government re-opens the road to heavy-duty vehicles.
According to Idris, “the Niger state government has so far committed a huge amount of money on the reconstruction of the Minna-Bida road, and the project is being handled by one of the best indigenous construction company to ensure we get the highest possible standard.
“As the reconstruction progresses, however, heavy-duty vehicles who constantly travel the road have been known to reverse recorded progress by damaging the section of the part of the road that has been fixed.
“This was what informed the decision by the Niger state government to close the road to heavy-duty vehicles. The tanker drivers in turn responded by taking the laws into their hands and blocking the Minna-Bida road entirely and Lambata-Lapai-Bida road, making it completely impossible for smaller vehicles to move.
“The Governor Abubakar Sani Bello administration is determined that the road construction must go on and as such, opening the Minna-Bida road to heavy-duty vehicles is not an option for now for that would destroy everything the government has done and tax payers’ money would be wasted redoing what was already done,” he said.
He appealed to the Federal Government to help the people of the state and the country by fixing the trunk “A” Lambata-Lapai-Bida road and Jenna-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna road to resolve the issue of heavy duty vehicles regularly damaging the Minna-Bida road.
“As it stands today, the entire stretch of the entire roads in Niger state are suffering because of these heavy-duty vehicles.
“Only a few months ago, these same vehicles completely destroyed the Minna-Zungeru road, they have also destroyed the Bida-Zungeru road and are now looking to destroy the work ongoing on Minna-Bida road.
“The state government will not allow that,” he said.
The Commissioner explained that the state was the gateway between the North and South-West, saying that, “It hosts the highest stretch of federal roads in the country, yet the federal roads in the state have been mostly neglected.
“The state government continues to expend limited resources on trunk “A” roads even when it’s also faced with several challenges that are primarily its duty in the governance of Niger state.”
He called on the federal government to intervene and complement the state government in building road infrastructure across the state.
“Instead of the state government to earmark more money for the rehabilitation of trunk “A” roads, with a backlog of other responsibilities of the state waiting for intervention, all stakeholders must join hands to appeal to the federal government to understand the conditions of the roads.
“There is no denying the setbacks brought forth by the deteriorated state of these roads.
“The state has quite limited resources and so there is no better time to draw the attention of the federal government to intervene than now,” he said. (NAN)