• Says it is a Relief to Motorists, Commuters

From John Adams, Minna

Former Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism and Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger State Mr Jonathan Vatsa, has described as a great relief the award of the contract and the groundbreaking for the construction of the 82 kilometres Minna-Bida road after over 20 years it was abandoned.

Mr Vatsa was reacting to the groundbreaking of the construction of the road by the state governor, Rt Hon Umar Mohammed Bago at the Bida end of the road in Kakankpagi on Thursday said that after almost 20 years on the drawing board, commuters and motorists can now heave a sigh of relief with the former flag-off for the construction of the road.

The road was last constructed by the late former governor of the state Engineer Abdulkadir A Kure in 2000 and ever since then, the road which is the most busy state road has been left unattended to by every successful administration in the state.

In 2020, the immediate past Administration awarded the project to Dantata and Sawoe Nigeria at the cost of N24.3 billion with a completion period of 18 months but the contract was abandoned after N15 billion was expended with only five per cent of the work done.

While commending Bago for a bold step towards constructing the road to ease the suffering of people, Vatsa pointed out that the Minna-Bida road which connects the north with the western parts of the country is very key to the socio-economic development of the state.

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He disclosed that the road has remained a nightmare for both motorists and commuters with no week passes without one form of accident or the other with attendant loss of lives and properties.

The former publicity secretary of APC in the state believed that the road, when completed will not only boost the economic activities of towns and villages along the hitherto busy highway, it will encourage investors to come and do business in the state.

Vatsa maintained that good roads and other infrastructural development are key to the Public Private Partnership initiative of the administration towards realizing the “new Niger agenda.”

According to him “I strongly believe that is only good roads that can attract investors to the state and that is what the government is trying to do.

“The construction of the Minna-Bida road and other ongoing road projects across the state will definitely open up the state to the outside world and attract more investors to the state.”

He equally commended the governor for the award of the five Kilometers roads in each of the 25 local government areas of the state, stressing that the bad road network is also contributing to the growing insecurity in parts of the state.