Deplorable roads: Niger Assembly seeks IBB, Abdulsalami intervention


By Yusuf Abdullahi, Abuja

The Niger State House of Assembly has passed a resolution seeking the interventions of two former heads of state and retired generals, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalami Abubakar, on the deplorable condition of federal roads in the state.

The House passed the resolution on Wednesday, following a motion calling on the executive arm of government to as a matter of urgency find a lasting solution to the Federal roads in the state.

The motion was moved by a member representing Lapai constituency, Musa Vatsa, and seconded by Malik Madaki, a member representing Bosso constituency.

“All the federal roads in Niger are in a deplorable condition and as a result vehicles spend about six to eight hours on the road that should take an hour journey.

“These federal roads are the only access roads in and out of Niger state and all heavy-duty vehicles from the Northern to the Southern parts of the country and vice versa ply these routes on a daily basis.

“Although the Niger government spends billions of Naira to maintain these roads, particularly, the Minna-Suleja road, the repairs do not last long because the heavy-duty vehicles plying these routes are too many and they carry above the required capacity.

“Despite the fact that contract has been awarded by the FG for the rehabilitation of Lambata-Agaie-Bida road, no effort by FG to release funds to fast track the work to alleviate the sufferings of our people,’’ he added.

The move came a day after the Niger State caucus in the National Assembly decried the deplorable state roads in the state.

On Monday, dozens of angry youth blocked the Suleja-Minna and Minna-Bida highways in protest of the bad roads across Niger State.

In his submission before the House, Abba Bala, representing Borgu, noted that no single federal road in Niger was in a good shape in spite of the overwhelming votes the APC led government got from the state at the polls.

No federal road in Niger state is in a good condition and we contributed one of the largest numbers of votes that brought this government into power.

“We cannot continue like this because our people are going through untold hardship as a result of these bad roads,’’ he said.

Other members who spoke in similar vein said the bad condition of the federal roads in Niger was becoming an embarrassment to the state.

The House thereafter unanimously resolved to set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to reach out to the two former heads of state and seek ways they can intervene to facilitate work on the bad roads.

The committee is also to interface with the comptroller of the Federal Ministry of Works in charge of Niger on the state of the roads in the state.

It is also to meet with the governor of the state so as to impress on him to personally meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of works to discuss the acceleration of work on federal roads in the state.