Stakeholders in the Northeast zone have applauded the federal government for stepping up work on the ongoing road projects in the zone.
They pleaded with the government to execute more of such projects in the region to give them a sense of belonging in the Nigerian federation.
The stakeholders comprising motorists, indigenous engineers, workmen, suppliers, marketers among others spoke to newsmen on the projects during the just-concluded media inspection of the projects led by the director, Northeast Highways, Mr. Mohammed Rufai.
In the course of the tour, the dualisation of section IV (Potiskum-Damaturu Road), Section III (Azare-Potiskum), and section II (Shuwarin-Azare) with Spur (Dutse-Kwanar Huguma in Jigawa State) were inspected, which have reached over 70 per cent completion, including some bridges.
Rufai, who expressed delight at the performance of the contractors handling the projects, said the government would do all it can to support them so that they can finish the work on time.
He said that as soon as modalities for distributing the approved second phase of the SUKUK funds are worked out, the contractors would get more fund to complete the projects.
Ahmed Umar, a commercial vehicle driver, who plies the Mayo Belwa-Jada-Ganye-Toungo Road, said: “I am very happy with what is going on here because before now you cannot make up to five trips on this road in a day due to the horrible nature of the road, but today I run as many times as possible.”
One Samuel Ojonugwa, who described himself as said a graduate, said that he got a job with Triacta Nig Ltd, the contractor handling the rehabilitation of Mayo- Belwa Road as a casual labourer.
According to him, with the little he earns, he pays some of his bills without begging anyone, and even preparing to be married this year.
Alhaji Musa Yahaya said that the repair of the road had attracted other people to the area which had made businesses to pick up.
“The truth is that transportation along the road has become much easier and quicker. We used to pay about N200 from here to Jada; today we pay not more than N100,” he said.
Richard Dass was caught driving along the Cham-Numan Road whose rehabilitation is at an advanced stage. He said the project had alleviated the sufferings of motorists and urged the government to ensure its speedy completion.
Also, Awal Suleiman, who works as quality control officer on the Gombe-Kaltungo (phase II of the Gombe-Numan-Yola Road project), admitted that he earns his living from the project.
He said that the construction of the road, especially to the communities on the Gombe side and the Numan section, is one of the greatest things that has happened to the people of the area in recent times.
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