John Adams, Minna
The Minna-Suleja highway which was closed to traffic to enable contractors handling the emergency repair work on the failed portions has been re-opened to traffic.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Work and Infrastructural Development, Alhaji Abubakar Sediq Balarabe, announced the re-opening of the highway when he briefed newsmen on the progress of repairs work on the facility.
He said the 92-kilometer road whose dualisation contract was awarded by the Federal government but stopped due to lack of funding, had now become a death trap, promoting the state government to carry out some repairs on the failed portions.
The road which became impassable last week as a result of its deplorable condition, occasioned by the activities of trucks, trailers and tankers plying the road was closed to traffic to enable the government to effect some repairs.
Only three weeks ago, a fuel tanker carrying about 40,000 liters of premium motor spirit (PMS) lost control and fell at the Dikko end of the road leading to the death of six people, 19 others injured and about 11 vehicles and 39 shops burnt.
The permanent secretary disclosed that the repair works had attained an appreciable level and therefore the government decided to re-open the road to ease the suffering of commuters that have been stranded on the road for days now.
He pointed out that in the last three years, the state government had spent well over N5billion to carry out routine maintenance on the highway which is the only link road to the federal capital territory.
According to him “the state government has spent about N5billion on the 92-kilometer Minna-Suleja road in the past few years, but each time the state government fixed the road, articulated vehicles destroyed the road.
“The life span of the road is already expired, even the design life span is obsolete. And so, the state government is reconstructing the roads. We have finished the 30-kilometer Kwakuti-Lambata road, and now we are facing the Kakaaki-Minna” Axis.
He, however, appealed to the Federal government to resume work on the dualisation of the Minna-Suleja road, saying that the road more is important than those federal roads in the state whose contracts the Federal government awarded recently.
Engr. Balarabe, however, hinted that by next year, works on the dualisation the 86 kilometer Bida-Minna road will begin, stressing that “we are going to take a loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for the project.”