Benin – Some food dealers and farmers in Edo have called for the repair of the Benin-Abraka road which traverses the agrarian communities in Orhionmwon Local government Area of the state.
The traders and the farmers made the call in separate interviews in Benin on Sunday.
They said the repair was necessary to enhance the evacuation of agricultural produce from the area as well as boost the economic activities.
The road which links Benin and Abraka in Delta passes through the agrarian Edo communities including Ugokoniro, Ugo, Evbosi, Ukuor, Urho-Nigbe, Ikogbo, Evbuehia, Iguelaba.
One of them, Mrs Itohan Osaro said: “when the road was good, it took only 40 minutes to drive from Benin to Ugo but now it’s about two hours journey due to the current state of the road.
“Only smoking and bad vehicles now ply the route and those with good ones don’t want to because it will damage their vehicles.
“We are appealing to government to repair the road as soon as possible so that the food-growing communities will not be cut off from the rest of the state.”
Mrs Therma Omigie said the road had become so bad and trips to the agrarian communities were now difficult as commercial vehicles were always overloaded with passengers and goods.
Omegie said that five passengers now sat in a row instead of four, adding that the drivers resorted to this so as to make up for the lost number of trips.
“The drivers want to compensate for time wastage on the road since the deplorable state of the road has reduced the numbers of trips they usually make in a day.
“The vehicles are usually over-loaded with passengers as well as with goods,” he said.
Mr Benjamin Osagie, a farmer in Ugo community, said the road had been in a deplorable state for over eight years now, noting that it was usually so bad during the raining season.
Osagie said that farmers in the communities had to wait for the food dealers to travel to the rural areas to buy the produce.
He said that the farmers would have been earning more from the sale of their produce if they could take them to nearby cities to sell.
The farmer said that the bad state of the road had prevented them from doing so.
Another farmer, Mr Moses Osunde, who grows large hectares of cassava and plantain at Evbuehia said the road was important to the agrarian communities.
“The Benin-Abraka road is a major road linking the agrarian communities in Orhionnwon , a very large local government area in Edo.
“Farming is our major occupation and we need good access road to convey our products to the cities as well as convey our farming tools to the communities,” Osunde said.
NAN recalls that the state government in May expressed readiness to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the reconstruction of the road.