By Bashir Bello, KANO
The Federal Government on Tuesday flagged off the construction of a 132km Kano-Daura-Kongollam dual carriage road worth N115 billion connecting three states of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States.
The project is been financed by the World class conglomerate, BUA Group under the Federal Government road Infrastructure Tax Credit policy.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola while performing the flag-off ceremony in Gwiwa, Kazaure Local Government area of Jigawa state, said the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration concentrated on investment in infrastructure to stimulate the economic development of the nation and job creation.
Fashola who decried what he described as a trespass on the right of way of the Federal government way however appealed to the Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States government and traditional rulers to intervene and help it recover its right of way in order to ensure timely delivery of the project.
According to him, “This is a major investment in infrastructure. It is consistent with the message and strategy of the government to build the economy of the country using infrastructure as one of the points of attack.
“I often tell people when they say Buhari has done a lot of infrastructure but what about the economy, and I tell them, Buhari did not campaign on infrastructure but he campaigned on the economy. So you would see new ports, airport expansion, roads and bridges, dams and water supply infrastructures. Without water, without dams what agriculture and fishing activities can we do? But this is the infrastructures that build the backbone of the economy. And this is what this government has concentrated upon.
“This road takes us to our border with the Niger Republic. We are now part of Africa’s Continental Free Trade area, if we can’t export goods and services, then we will not be competitive in the continent.
“This is an investment that is been financed by the private sector, BUA Group. Ultimately later, they will take back their tax credit.
“The policy was initiated on 25th January 2019. Four years down the line, the policy is gaining traction. Many more private businesses are using it to build Nigeria’s infrastructure. So this will be one of the enduring legacies of the Buhari administration, how he has used the private sector differently to deliver results. There have been previous private initiatives that didn’t get off the ground. And these investments are been made in the twilight of his administration. It is a statement of confidence that they believe in what he is doing and even if he is going they will be here to see this through.
“We would have loved to start and run operations simultaneously from the three states affected. But we are hampered by the right of way. Our right of way is 45.75 metres from the centre line of both sides of the road. But what we found is people have built on it.
“I appeal to the traditional rulers and the state government to please help us recover the right of way. The authority over land now vests with the Governor.
“The earlier you help us do that, the more efficient and expeditiously the contracting company can do their work. Everywhere they face a right-of-way obstacle, they will jump and that will delay. So you can help us ask them to just leave,” the Minister, Fashola however appealed.
The Chairman, BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu represented by the Group Managing Director, Kabiru Rabiu said the project which connects the three states is to be completed in a period of three years.
“The road which originates from Dawanau roundabout and terminates at Kongollam town comprises of 61.15km across Kano State, 28.85km that spans through Jigawa state and 41.50km through Daura up to Kongollam town in Katsina state.
“The existing road is a single-lane asphaltic concrete carriageway with eroded surface-dressed shoulders. Some sections of the road have suffered extensive degradation characterised by potholes rutting, surface cracks and embarkment washouts, making the carriageway in a fair motorable condition.
“The road, when completed will feature three bridges – Ungoggo roundabout, Kazaure and Daura. These also include pedestrian crossings at eight locations along the project corridor and solar street lights for safe driving during night time,” he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Housing, Bashir Nura Alkali represented by his Director, Highways, Engr. Wasiu Tayo said the project when completed will the reduction of travelling time, reduction in vehicle maintenance costs and boost socio-economic activities in the sub-region.
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