Transporters and businessmen in Borno have lauded the state government and the military for opening the Bama – Banki road linking Nigeria to Cameroon, that was closed for nine years due to the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Chairman of Mairi Motor Park, where most passengers board vehicles from Maiduguri to Banki, Mallam Bamai Mustapha, lauded the opening of the road, saying that it was a big relief to commercial motorists.
“This is one of the best news that has come to us in years; you can see how happy we are over the development.
“Things are now picking up in this park and other places like Babban-Layi and Bolori where people and goods are being transported to the border town of Banki.
“About 20 to 30 vehicles carrying passengers and goods depart Maiduguri to Banki on daily basis, since the reopening of the road last week. Things are picking up gradually,” Mustapha said.
Mustapha lauded the ongoing construction of the Maiduguri – Bama road awarded by Gov Babagana Zulum’s administration, and urged for it to be extended to Banki.
Also speaking, a driver, Buba Gomari, said that before the insurgency, between 70 to 80 trips were being made daily to the commercial border town of Banki, by drivers from the park.
A businessman, Abubakar Ibrahim said the reopening of the road would help him and other business colleagues both in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad to resume business activities.
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) recently announced its plans to reactivate the Banki border Free Trade Zone (FTZ) , expected to generate about one million direct and indirect jobs, as well as boost economic development of the state as it recovered from the insurgency.