By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The House of Representatives has called the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to make provision for the reconstruction of the Katsina-Ala–Abaji–Tordonga–Harga axis of the road in the 2021 Supplementary Budget proposal.
Besides, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to provide relief materials for the displaced populations in the affected communities along the road and ensure that they return to their homes.
The House also mandated the Committees on Works, Appropriation and Women Affairs and Social Development to ensure compliance.
These resolutions were taken at plenary on Tuesday after the adoption of a motion titled: “Need to Reconstruct the Katsina-Ala–Abaji–Tordonga–Harga–Gawa–Takum Road, sponsored by Rep.Richard Gbande (PDP-Benue)
Presenting the motion, Gbande noted that “the Katsina-Ala-Abaji -Tordonga-Harga-Gawa-Takum Road is a Trunk “A” Federal Road cutting across major towns in Benue State into Taraba State and the road was first constructed in the early 1980s during the administration of President Shehu Shagari”.
According to him, “the road is the only route through the Katsina-Ala and Takum axis, covering a major farming population of Taraba and Benue States in Katsina-Ala, Ukum, Takum, Donga and Ussa Local Government Areas across the two states”.
He said “the Gawa–Takum section of the road covering about 16km along the Taraba axis, was rehabilitated by the Federal Ministry of Works in 2015, leaving out the 53km Harga-TorDonga-Abaji–Katsina-Ala axis of in Benue State”, raising concerns “that the partial rehabilitation of the road has not yielded much impact as commuters go through a lot of difficulty on the longer 53km section of the road which is in a state of total disrepair”.
According to him, “the road, which was constructed in the early 1980s and had never been rehabilitated, has now collapsed and most parts nearly impassable. Due to the dilapidated condition of the road, criminal elements have taken advantage to unleash mayhem on the inhabitants of the surrounding areas and unsuspecting commuters.
“Due to the prolonged activities of criminals in the area, farmers in Harga, Tor Donga, Sai, Abaji and Katsina-Ala have been displaced as their farms have been taken over by bandits”.
He also buttressed the economic and social importance of the Katsina-Ala-Abaji–TorDonga–Harga–Gawa–Takum Federal Road to Taraba and Benue States”.
The Motion was adopted and referred to the Committee on Works, to liaise with the World Ministry and ensure compliance.