The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has directed relevant agencies in the State to open up the closed roads to articulated vehicles that are carrying not more than 45,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 35,000 tonnes of dry cargo.
The Governor gave the directive when he briefed journalists shortly after a meeting with officials of the Presidency, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and security agencies on Friday.
The meeting, chaired by the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, also had in attendance the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Male Kyari; and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
The meeting, the Governor said, was mainly to discuss issues arising from the closure of all Niger State-owned roads to articulated vehicles, where he explained the condition of roads in the State to them.
They unanimously acknowledged that the deplorable roads in the State was mostly due to the movement of articulated vehicles carrying overloads of fuel and dry cargos, which has resulted to the destruction of the roads and brought hardship on other road users.
Governor Bello however said the opening of the roads was to allow for free movement of goods and services to ease the hardship that would be caused by the closure to heavy trucks, pointing out that it is a sacrifice that has to be made at this dire period for the interest of the Northern region in particular and the country at large.
Under the new arrangement, according to Governor Sani-Bello: “No articulated vehicle carrying petroleum products of more than 45,000 litres of fuel and 35 tonnes of dry cargo will be allowed into the State.”
Also, special interventions are expected to be carried out by the Federal Government in the State.
These include remedial works on the Bida-Lapai-Lambata and Mokwa-Tegina-Brinin Gwari roads to serve as alternative routes for articulated vehicles.
The Governor said the State Government needs the support of the Federal Government to carry out remedial works on Farin Doki-Minna-Bida roads to allow for movement of heavy trucks, pointing out that the Minister of Works and Housing has reiterated the commitment of the Federal the Government to completing the projects.
Bello expressed optimism that the Mokwa-Tegina-Birnin Gwari Road, when fixed, effective security will be provided on the road as it is prone to security challenges.
He then appealed to people of the State to be patient with the decision, hoping that the Federal Government’s special interventions will be effected in no distant time.