By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
All heavy duty vehicles especially petroleum products tankers with or without any commodity aboard are banned from plying on roads in Minna metropolis and on the Minna – Bida road in Niger State as ongoing repairs and reconstruction work is being hampered by the heavy duty vehicles.
The continuous use of the roads by articulated vehicles according to government was drawing the hands of the clock backwards in the efforts to rebuild the bad state of the roads.
Recalcitrant drivers of such heavy duty vehicles now risks instant prosecution by a mobile court raised by the state government.
This stance by the state government is following reports of frequent standoffs by some tanker and trailer drivers with monitoring team constituted by the state to ensure completion of the repairs on the roads.
The state government said it has spent hundreds of millions of naira in its efforts to put the badly dillepidated Minna – Bida road but frequent wear aand tear by the articulated vehicles have rubbished the remediation of the road.
The state Director, Vehicles Inspection Office, (VIO) Umar Muhammadu Kuki said the reconstruction work on the Minna – Bida road has remained unconcluded because of the violation on the ban by heavy duty vehicles.
He said the ban which took effectives last August, (nine months ago) was to allow ongoing repairs and reconstruction work to be completed.
The Director recalled that the state government had directed all articulated vehicles plying through the state to stay off some major roads in parts of the state where there were ongoing repairs works on felled portions of the roads.
He lamented that the refusal by heavy duty vehicles drivers to heed to the advice by the state government had led to lots of economic wastage of government’s lean resources.
Muhammad Kuki said movements by heavy duty vehicles on the roads in the metropolis have continued to deteriorate the roads which have made some of the roads unmotorable.
The Director warned that henceforth, violators of the order banning heavy duty vehicles on such roads would be penalized by the mobile court headed by the Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Transport, Abdullahi Imam.
Long portions of the 89 kilometres Minna – Bida road has been in a terrible state of disrepairs for years and motorists plying the road often laments over the bad state of the road and the state government’s inability to put it back to good, motorable state.
The Director, Niger state Vehicles Inspection Office, argued that the continuous use of the roads in question by such articulated vehicles was disrupting ongoing repair works and causing aggravated harm on the roads as well as causing traffic build up on the roads.
He reechoed government’s warning to drivers of heavy duty vehicles on the use of such major roads in the city and said any vehicle caught violating the order would not be spared as such violation would be considered as a deliberate act of sabotage and willful damage.