Niger federal lawmakers decry deplorable roads

Federal lawmakers from Niger State have appealed to the federal government to pay special attention to federal roads traversing their state.

The three Senators and ten House of Representatives from the North Central state made the appeal on Tuesday at a press briefing in Abuja.

Operating under the aegis of Niger State National Assembly caucus, the lawmakers described the Minna-Suleja highway, Kaduna to Birnin-Gwarin and Mokwa-Jebba roads as deplorable.

Senator Sabi Abdullah, (Niger North) who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said the roads were a nightmare to commuters and expressed concern over the spate of fatal accidents on the highways. He further noted that the volume of heavy-duty trucks have impacted negatively and called on the Federal Ministry of Works to declare emergency on the roads.

He said:” We are here to intimate you of an issue bordering our state, Niger. Niger state has the longest trunk A network of federal road. If you are travelling from North East, North West, you have to pass through Niger state, taking the trunk A2 from Kaduna down to Birnin-Gwarin to Mokwa-Jebba before you exit Kwara state.

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“At the same vein, if you are going to Kebbi, Zamfara or Sokoto state, you will now detour at Makira to Kotangora and you have three options depending on where you are going. When you come to Mokwa, you have the option to take Bida off to Lambata to join the Minna-Suleja highway. “All these roads as we speak to you are in a very deplorable state. This is no thanks to some development especially the heavy rainfall. The downpour this year is so heavy. What we experienced was first the very bad deplorable condition of trunk A2 road leading to Kaduna. That is the main road most of our heavy vehicles ply. The heavy traffic we have experienced in the last two years has impacted negatively on the roads.

“The western bypass in Minna is completely degraded. The Suleja-Minna road, there were sections of the road that were very good but because of what the vehicles plying that road was carrying for the past one or two months, the story is one of cry and anguish because you have to sleep there for 2 to 3 days as a result of a section giving up completely, being muddy, trucks breaking down there.

“The vehicles plying these roads are also overweight or overloading. Some of them are designed for 30 or 40 tonnes but what we see is 60 to 90 tonnes. Right before your eyes as the vehicles are passing, you will see the road sinking in.

“The essence is to call on the Federal Government in particular under the Ministry of Works and our father, Mr President. The bulk of these vehicles do not belong to Niger state but to Nigerians but the impact is felt by the Nigerlites. What we are asking for is a state of emergency to be declared on these three roads- Minna to Suleja road, from Mokwa down to Kaduna and Bida to Lambata road.

“An emergency does not require a normal process. What we saw in the last three to five days is so serious and it is also breeding insecurity because the volume of vehicles in that road has increased and the roads are bad and some of our relationship encounter accidents. Personally, I have lost two brothers in the last one week, accidents on these roads. My younger brother just escaped barely with his life two days ago, attacked by armed robbers. It is the same story with all of us because the road is bad and you can’t even move. Hoodlums have taken over.”

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