. . . Says road development making life of Nigerians easier

In a bid to conduct a self-assessment and also make public its giant strides in the last seven years, the All Progressives Congress (APC) held a “Progressive Leadership Conversation in Kano state.

The conversation which is the first in the Series that will feature key ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, had the Minister of Power Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola giving account of his stewardship.

The Series which continues in other states will feature the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed.

Convened by Barr Ismaeel Ahmed, APC National Youth Leader and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Interventions, also seeks to give account of the current administration in all sectors.

The minister gave President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration a pass mark on road construction, saying that the government had devoted reasonable funding to road construction.

He stressed that a major radar with which he assesses the successes recorded in road infrastructure was how it had made the life of farmers and other Nigerians and businesses easier.

He said that farmers as well as other Nigerians engaging in various businesses could now move their products or render their services with more ease.

Exemplifying with Kano state where he toured Federal Road prjects on the sideline of the Conversation series, he hailed the level of progress that had been recorded by the government to his ministry.

Fashola who inspected the Kano/Katsina Phase One road project, which will link Nigeria to Niger Republic, said that there was great progress on the infrastructure.

“There is progress but with accompanying challenges, challenges in dualising what used to be a single carriage way and making the road more conducive for easy flow of traffic.

“This means we have to move out built-up facilities, markets, buildings and others; we have to relocate both electricity poles and others.

“We are hopeful that the state governors will respond, and cooperate so that we can provide infrastructure that will connect states,” he said.

The Minister also disclosed that the Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, had assured him that he would pay compensation to those who were really entitled to it in respect of road construction in the state.

The minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making available resources to continue with infrastructural development throughout the federation.

According to him, if all infrastructural facilities are in place, they will ease the process of doing business and increase productivity.

Giving a run-down of progress made by the ministry, he however identified inadequate funding as the major bane to the development of roads and other critical infrastructure.

According to the minister, road construction in Nigeria is a capital intensive project which time and energy must be put into.

Other challenges the minister also identified are; right of way, compensation, weather, geological factor, insecurity and occupational hazard, all of which cause delay during road construction.

On the score-card, he said that the government had completed certain roads including: Kebbi-Sokoto, Kontagora-Jega Koko road, Kano-Jigawa-Azare and Potiskum roads.

Others are Vandekya in Venue to Obudu in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.

Also, in bridges construction, the minister mentioned the Nfon bridge in Cross rivers state which is a major international link to Cameroon.

Others are: The Calabar port bridge which was now a gateway to the northern part of the country through Katsina-Ala ìn Benue state.

The minister further said that the Bonny-bodo highway construction which has four major bridges and eight minor ones, were already in advance stage of completion.

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