From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
President Muhammad Buhari has commissioned the 296-kilometre Sokoto-Jega-Koko-Kontagora road and urged the roads users’ to adhere to the traffic laws guiding the highway.
The president, stated this at Koko town, Kebbi State while officially commissioning the road which was started by the previous administration in 2012 and completed by his administration.
President Buhari, represented by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Chika Malami, noted that the road would not only ease the economic activities of the people, but also restricted criminals who might have the motive of inflicting pains on travellers due to bad road.
According to him, ‘many of the initiated or inherited projects by the Buhari-led Federal Government would be completed and handover for the benefit of Nigerians before the end of the administration.
‘It is a manifestation of our resolve to provide more vista of job opportunities thereby enhancing productive engagement of our teeming population and economic value addition in line with the Federal Government policy to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. It is a promise of change made and next level delivery established,’ he said.
President Buhari, who noted that the road project was commenced by the previous administration on 13th December 2012, said his administration would complete all the ongoing projects across the country.
‘With this development, I can confidently say that as we enter the final lap of the tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration, we are entering a season of completion and delivery of projects including those inherited from the past administration before we come on board.
‘These are not only nation builders to whom we offer our salutations, they are the heart of the Nigerian economy, the micro, small and medium enterprises that drive our economic growth,’ he said.
‘Now that we have this new and well-built road, we have duties to ourselves and to other road users. One of those duties is to ensure that we drive in accordance with the law as stipulated in the highway,’ he said.
In his remarks, Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, recalled that the road was originally constructed in 1973 and for many years, it was not rehabilitated or reconstructed until President Buhari administration took over.
He noted that in 2015 when he become governor of Kebbi State, his administration too did not restrict itself to the rehabilitation of state roads, but extended the same service to many federal roads within the state.
‘Today, just as Emir Yauri has captured the feeling of the people of this area, we are very grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Works for their efforts in ensuring this road is completed.’
Governor Bagudu added that those who are criticising the government for borrowing too much could now see projects executed with the money.
Earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed that the commissioning of the 296 kilometres road of Sokoto to Kontagora roads would be the beginning of the commissioning of road projects by the Buhari administration.
He said that his ministry would be in other states to open up other Federal government roads, saying that ‘this is the evidence of where the borrowed money is being spent.’
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee of Works, Senator Muhammadu Adamu Aliero, disclosed that before the construction of the Jega-Koko road by the Buhari administration, in a day, about 40 travellers lost their lives in a road accident.
He noted that the completion of the road linking southwestern states such as Lagos would boost economic activities in the North and other regions as well as curb crime along the axis.