By Mary Noel-Berje, Minna
Niger State Government is to again, close down the Minna-Bida Road to articulated vehicles as nothing is yet to be done two-weeks after the State and Federal Government agreed in a meeting to provide immediate emergency intervention, especially on Bida-Lapai-Lambata and Mokwa-Tegina-Birnin-Gwari trunk A roads, as well as support the state government on the remaining repairs of Minna-Suleja Road particularly from Farin Doki-Minna which formed the basis for the temporal re-opening of the earlier closed road.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello disclosed this while touring some of the Federal government and state owned roads in the State, with the view to taking urgent measures that would bring succour to motorists plying the route as well as inspect the ongoing emergency repairs by State Government on the Minna-Suleja Federal Road.
Some of the roads the Governor inspected include Minna-Suleja, Minna-Bida and Minna-Zungeru-Kontagora roads.
On the Minna-Suleja road, the Governor who pointed out that the portion between Lambata-Farin Doki, reconstructed by the State Government as part of it efforts to make the road motorable, adding that the State Government is yet to be reimbursed by the Federal Government, however assured the people that the State Government will continue to make necessary repairs on the road to make life easier for the road users.
He lamented that some of the articulated vehicles that ply the road, apart from carrying more than the approved weight were not roadworthy, thus causing gridlock and unnecessary hardship to the people.
On the Minna-Bida road, Governor Sani Bello said he will remain focus on reconstructing the road but that the road will again be closed down to articulated vehicles since the State Government is yet to see the intervention of the Federal Government as agreed, adding that closing down the road will speed up the project and avoid wasting of resources.
He noted that the Minna-Bida at the moment, needs urgent attention as the portion between Sabon Daga and Kataeregi has collapsed due to the heavy traffic flow of articulated vehicles on the road.
Similarly, there is gridlock along Minna-Kontagora Road particularly between Baban Gada and Anguwan Balbela as trailers and petrol tankers have been stuck on the muddy part of the road.
The Governor bemoans the slow process of releasing fund to contractors handling construction of Federal roads in the state, saying, it is a major obstacle towards the execution of the projects.
While on tour, the Governor stopped at intervals to inspect the ongoing work of filling boulders on over failed portions of the roads, some broken down articulated vehicles were sighted in gridlock.
Some of the heavy truck drivers who spoke to journalists urged Government at all levels to expedite actions in fixing the roads as they have lost their valuables and their vehicles damaged on the roads
They also appealed to the Federal Government particularly to as a matter of urgency fix the trunk A roads which is the Bida-Lapai-Lambata and the Mokwa-Tegina-Birnin Gwari Roads being their major routes.
Mary Noel-Berje is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor of Niger State.