By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The Borno State Government and Roads Maintenance Agency (BORMA) are to complete eight suspended road projects that were “kept on hold;” because of Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism that claimed many lives and property worth N2.9 trillion in the state.
The suspended roads cover a total distance of 261 kilometres that linked many communities in the Central, Northern and Southern Senatorial Districts of Borno state.
This was announced yesterday by the Borno State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Adamu Lawan at a news conference held in Maiduguri.
“We held extensive review of these roads projects in consultation with our teeming contractors, agencies and other stakeholders and came up with a road map of completing as many as possible, including the suspended ones in 2017,” said Lawan.
He continued: “Governor Kashim Shettima has kept to his promise of financial backing. We also matched his support with hard work, commitment and regular supervision; and are able to achieve our targets of completing at least most of the ongoing roads and building projects, while the remaining ones are currently near completion.”
He said the eight suspended projects to be completed, include the Gambouru-Wulgo (11 km), Dikwa-Mallam Maja-Banki (98km), Garin Gada-Balbaya-Fikahyel (50km), Miringa-Gunda (40km), Pulka-Kirawa (16km), Wiza-Khuhum (16km) and Damboa-Chibok-Mbalala (30km).
He said the contractor handling the Mbalala road has resumed to the project site, following the capture of Sambisa forest by the military.
Lawan however , noted that the Ministry of Works and Transport budgetary proposals for 2016, was N33.74 billion; out of which N14.624 billion was appropriated with only 50 per cent budgetary performances.
He attributed the low budgetary performance to Boko Haram insurgency, as eight road projects were suspended, because of security risk to engineers as well as machines and equipment.
He however, noted that most of the roads and drainage facilities projects, including the Lagos Street and Bridge in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Jere and Mafa councils were also completed.
“Some of the main road projects in Bulumkutu, Abbaganaram/Gongulong, and Bulabulin areas of the metropolis and Jere were completed,” said Lawan.
He said out of the 24 roads projects, 20 were executed through direct labour, while 10 additional road projects were completed by BORMA this year.
He further disclosed that the state government had acquired nine property, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) quarters along Biu-Damboa road.