Barely a two days after some tanker drivers protested the closure of State-owned roads in Niger State, the State Government on Thursday vowed not to open the roads to articulated vehicles.
It said: “We will not go back on the restriction order of heavy trucks plying the state-owned roads, which took effect on the 15th September, 2020.”
It should be recalled that the Petroleum Tanker Drivers on Wednesday ordered its members to halt distribution of petroleum products from Lagos to the northern part of the country from Thursday till further notice.
While reacting to Petroleum Tanker Drivers threat on boycott of products supply to the whole northern states, Chairman of Niger State Infrastructure, Project Monitoring and Implementation Committee, who is also the Chief of Staff to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Ibrahim Balarabe, told newsmen: “The Federal Government should fix the federal roads, which are the alternative routes.”
The state government maintained that its decision to close down all state government roads was done within the confines of law, stressing that adequate consultations and sensitisation with relevant stakeholders were made and two weeks notice was also served to the general public as well as relevant road transport organisations before the roads were barricaded.
According to Balarabe: “We are reaffirming our position: There is no going back on the state government’s decision on the ban on articulated trucks from plying the state-owned roads.
“We still stand on our position and we will not relent on that.
“Our roads still remain closed to articulated trucks.
“The state government will not relent on our oars and we will ensure that the state-owned roads are not accessed by articulated vehicles.
“The heavy trucks are however free to use all the federal roads that transverse the State.”
The State Government said beyond the current closure to fast track the reconstruction of the Minna-Bida Road, measures would be evolved such as weigh-bridges to ensure that the movement of articulated vehicles on the state-owned roads are regulated to avoid heavy flow of traffic beyond the capacity of the roads.
He enjoined the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and do the needful on the Federal Roads in the State.