The 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 Governments agreed at a meeting for the provision of immediate emergency intervention.
The Federal Government promised to act on the 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 to Minna, which formed the basis for the temporary reopening of the earlier closed road.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello disclosed the decision to once again shut down the road while touring some of the Federal and State Governments-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 the State Government on the Minna-Suleja Federal Road.
Some of the roads the Governor inspected included Minna-Suleja, Minna-Bida and Minna-Zungeru-Kontagora.
On the Minna-Suleja Road, the Governor, who pointed out that the portion between Lambata and Farin Doki, reconstructed by the State Government as part of its efforts to make the road motorable, had yet to be paid for by the Federal Government.
He, 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.
Governor Bello said he will remain focused on reconstructing the Minna-Bida Road, but that the road will again be closed 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 Road at the moment needed urgent attention as the portion between Sabon Daga and Kataeregi had 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 bemoaned 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 failed portions of the roads.
Some broken down articulated vehicles were sighted in the gridlock.
Some of the heavy truck drivers who spoke to journalists urged Government at all levels to expedite action 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 are Bida-Lapai-Lambata and Mokwa-Tegina-Birnin Gwari, being their major routes.