September 26, 2012

FG opens by-pass on Lokoja-Abuja road

Abuja—Reprieve came the way of stranded motorists along Lokoja-Abuja road, as Federal Government directed that identified by-passes along the road be opened, Wednesday.

Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolemenen, told newsmen after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, yesterday, that the bye-passes which had been created around the flooded areas would be opened to motorists from today.

He said government had engaged construction giants in the country to create the by-passes as a temporary measure to ease the suffering of commuters.

He said: “What we’ve been doing since yesterday is to identify a by-pass which we have created. As at this morning (yesterday), we have attained about 60 percent completion. From the way we are going, by tomorrow (today) the road should be opened to motorists.

“We have done a diversion at those drainage and vehicles will be able to drive normally through this by-pass without having recourse to canoes on our roads as a result of the flooding that happened.”

Environment Minister speaks
Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, said a Presidential Committee set up to assess the impact of flooding across the country presented a preliminary report to council.

She said the committee visited seven states to ascertain the extent of the impact of the flood on life and infrastructure and to identify immediate areas of intervention.

She said: “The most devastating effect that we have witnessed is that of Kogi State, where we have a major road completely made impassable. We have also seen a lot of infrastructure submerged and witnessed very traumatising experiences by people that were affected.”

Mailafia said among the consequences of the flooding was huge loss of farmlands, which might likely pose a threat to food security.

The minister said academic calendar was also affected. She added that as people have been displaced, there was likelihood of health challenges in the affected areas.

She underscored the need for Nigerians to make concerted efforts towards addressing the challenges of climate change.