By; SAMSON YAKI, Lafia
The Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Barrister Babatunde Fashola, along with the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura have on Thursday flagged off the dualisation of the the Federal Highway from Keffi via Akwanga-Lafia to Makurdi, all in Nasarawa and Benue state respectively, which covers about 220 kilometer.
The planned dualization of the trunk road which links the Federal Capital Territory with six eastern states has been in the plan and programmes of the Federal Government led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, was contracted to a Chinese construction firm (China Habour Engineering Company Ltd) to the tune of over One Hundred Billion, Six Hundred and Forty Eight Million,One Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand,!Six Hundred and sixty four kobo (N100,648,117, 600,64).
According to the Minister, Babatunde Fashola, the president’s visit to China on Diplomatic mission was not for fantasy, but to engage experts who can tackle meaningful and life changing projects that have direct bearing on the people, which has resulted to the construction project today to enhance and ease the long suffering of motorists traveling from Abuja to Makurdi.
The former Lagos helmsman, Babatunde Fashola, reiterated the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s readiness in ensuring that the construction of the road will be completed within 36 months.
He said those who are in the habit of criticizing the administration of being slow, ought to know that the present government’s programmes are quicker in terms of achievements, that is why” We are result oriented and have began this huge projects within Three years, which is faster than the Sixteen years, it is also important to note that this is a road connecting people which would have formed their priority to connect the people but was neglected” He stated.
The Minister also said that with the flag off of the construction on the road,there would be massive job opportunities for the locals along the cities that the road connects, which President Buhari has signed an executive order in that effect that anywhere the roads projects are ongoing, it most accommodate its citizens by engaging them to work and not foreigners.
He said the expansion work which will provides up to six lanes would be made possible with the cooperation of the Land owners,Shops and Farmers which the expansion work will affect,order than that it would not be possible to have the six lane roads targeted by the federal government in order to ease up traffic congestion and free the roads of Insecurity.
According to him, government has made provisions for settlements and compensation, which he said same cooperation is needed so as to help the contractors commenced their work in due time.
On his part, governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura while thanking the federal government drive towards easing up the long suffering of commuters and motorists on the Keffi, Akwanga, Lafia and Makurdi road, said apart from decongestion on the highway, it would ease up the incessant cases of insecurity often recorded on the roads.
Governor Al-Makura who also appealed to the Federal government on the need for the completion of the Federal Secretariat in Lafia said it would go a long way to promote productivity among the Federal Government civil servants in the state if the project is considered for completion.