From AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna
The tour was meant to howcase to journalists what the government of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has achieved by way of project execution mid way into the second term of the administration.
Two things however came to the fore; first is the level of negligence to which the Federal Government has subjected Niger State especially in the area of road rehabilitation.
Most roads that are in a state of dilapidation in the State are roads that belong to the Federal Government for which the state government is carrying the blame of being responsible for the derelict.
This probably brings one to the second part of the discovery; that the state government is doing itself a great disservice through under-funding or improper funding of its information machinery for both local and national coverage of its activities.
For example, the state government during the tour made it known that the Federal Government was not responsible for the construction of a 66.8 kilometre road project in the state.
The road from Kwakuti-Kaffinkoro-Gwada, according to the government, is being executed by the state government and not by the Federal Government as being rumoured by the opposition in the state, the state Commissioner for Information, Professor Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, told newsmen on inspection of state government projects.
Yahaya said the clarification had become necessary because some members of the public and opposition politicians are spreading the information that the project is being handled by the Federal Government: “Let me state here and in categorical terms that this project is not a federal road, it is being constructed by the Niger State government, it is being executed with money from the N9 billion bond.”
According to Yahaya, the project is costing the state government over N2.143billion and will be completed next year. He added that 60 percent of the project had been completed, leaving the asphalt overlay, which will be done at the end of the rainy season: “We have seen the dissecting of the rural areas with the construction of this road, it will facilitate the movement of goods and services.” He argued that the economic lives of the people in the towns and villages which the road traverses will receive a big boost when the job is completed.
On the state’s housing projects, the commissioner said all the houses built by the state government at various locations in the state have been over- subscribed,
Yahaya said some of the houses ready for occupation include the 500 units at the Talba Housing Estate in Minna, the 250 units at the Aliyu Makama Housing Estate in Bida and the 250 houses at the Sani Bello Housing Estate in Kontagora.