President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inaugurated the 106.341 kilometer Kano – Maiduguri Road, Section 3 Azare – Potiskum linking Bauchi and Yobe States.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President inaugurated the completed Section 3 of the giant road project in Azare, Headquarters of Katatagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Buhari, represented by Amb. Maryam Yalwaji-Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the project was part of his administration’s commitment to provide quality road infrastructure in the country.
“Our commitment to improve road transport infrastructure; our determination to improve Ease of Doing Business, create jobs and prosperity to lift people out of poverty is what bring us here today.
“Because the result of our investments in infrastructure is manifesting,” he said.
He said the road was a critical component of the national road network and part of the many roads to prosperity.
The president said that the tiad construction was done with highest quality through the application of modern technologies to enhance safety of motorists, ease movement of goods and services as well as encourage growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Buhari urged motorists and other road users to ensure effective utilisation of the road, protect it and report any damage to the appropriate authorities.
While reiterating commitment to infrastructure development, Buhari cautioned motorists to observe traffic rules to ensure safer roads.
In his remarks, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, said the road would link Bauchi and Yobe States, adding that it would spur development of economic activities.
Fashola, represented by Mr Celestin Sahusu, FMWH’s Controller in charge of the North-West Zone, said the project was awarded at the initial sum of N29.1 billion in 2006, adding that it was later reviewed upward to N45.181 billion with completion period of 42 months.
Fashola said the total project length was 106.341 kilometers comprising 93.2km Azare -Potiskum which involved construction of additional new alignment and rehabilitation of the existing ones.
He listed the project to include construction of 1.173km Azare Link Road; 10.5km Potiskum Bypass, 1.968km Postiskum Link Road, 3.936 single carriageway, three bridges, provision of concrete barrier, street lightening and a 4-way cable ducts, among others.
The minister said that the project earlier expected to be completed in 2010 was extended to Nov. 2020, noting that, “we have executed several projects of this nature nationwide.”
Fashola said the road would link Katagum, Dambam in Bauchi and Nangere and Potiskum LGAs in Yobe State, adding that the importance of this road cannot be over emphasised.
Also speaking, Gov. Bala Mohammed lauded the Federal Government for the project, adding that it would open up economic activities and promote the overall wellbeing of the people.
Mohammed, represented by his deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela, said that his administration had so far constructed about 25 roads covering 200 kilometers across the state under its Urban Rural Renewal programme.
He said the state government in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank would construct about 300 kilometre access roads under the Rural Market scheme.
The governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the expansion of Bauchi – Kano Road and Bauchi – Maiduguri Road.
He further urged the Federal Government to expedite action on 82km Alkeleri – Futuk Road to link Bauchi with Gombe State, adding that the road was important in view of the mineral deposits in the area.
Mohammed furthet called on motorists to observe traffic rules, stressing that government would continue to monitor activities on the roads.
Earlier, the Emir of Katagum Alhaji Umar Kabir, commended President Buhari for the successful completion of the project initiated by the previous administrations.
Umar said that the road would enhance road transportation and security in the benefiting communities.
On his part, Mr Raffi Kevorkian, Managing Director, Mothercat Construction, declared that the company had successfully completed the project within time frame.
Kevorkian appreciated the host communities for their understanding and cooperation which enabled the company to complete the project on time.