The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the appalling condition of its roads in Niger State.
This call is contained in a motion sponsored by Hon. Abdullah I Idris Garba, Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago and eight others.
The lawmakers noted that Niger State is located in the North Central part of Nigeria and occupies 76,363 km landmass, representing 10% of the total landmass of Nigeria thus placing it first among the 36 states in the country including Federal Capital Territory Abuja, in term of Landmass.
They observed that Niger State has about 52 “Trunk A” roads and by implication, the State with both the highest and longest number of Federal Roads in Nigeria of about 2,375 km of which 2,138km representing 90% are in deplorable state and are now death traps, making it difficult for motorists to ply without recording accidents leading loss of lives and enormous damage to vehicles.
“Also notes that contracts have been awarded to different construction firms for the reconstruction of most of those roads such as Bida-Lambata, Minna-Suleja, Mokwa-Tegina-Makera-Kaduna with completion periods stretching over 18 to 36 months, but the contract periods for these road projects had since elapsed and the work-done so far hasn’t exceeded 20% completion”;
They worried that the Bida-Mina Truck Broad, which was constructed by Niger State Government has been overstretched by the movements of heavy-duty vehicles which have diverted to it as a result of the poor state of federal roads in the state and as a result has itself, also deteriorated.
“Acknowledges that Niger State is a gateway and the major link between the Northern and South-Western parts of Nigeria, thus, if the reconstruction works are not accelerated, in the not too distant future, those major parts of the country may be completely cut-off from each other;
“Informed that statistics from the Niger State Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) showed that between January and September 2016, about 147 people lost their lives and 915 persons were injured in 361 road accidents in the State; in 2017, not less than 516 road crashes were recorded that resulted in 197 deaths while in 2018, 476 crashes resulting in 289 deaths, were recorded;
The Niger state legislators equally expressed concern that in addition to the adverse effects of the poor state of the roads, kidnappings and armed robberies, loss of vital man-hours are recorded daily, thus, adversely affecting the growth of a developing economy like Nigeria’s.
In adopting the motion, the House also mandated its Committee on Works to interface with the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing on the state of Federal Roads in Niger State to ensure their reconstruction.
It equally urged the Federal Government to include in the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) reconstruction of Federal roads in Niger State, thereby making urgent provision of 50 Billion Naira special intervention to complete the reconstruction of the three (3) Critical roads namely Suleja-Minna, Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani-Tegina-Kaduna; and Bida-Lambata roads in view of their economic importance to the country.