By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
No fewer than forty heavy duty trucks have been abandoned mid road along the Minna-Kateregi to Bida road due to worsening state of the road which resulted in damages to the vehicles while on transit.
The Minna to Bida road is a stretch covering 86 kilometres that usually takes less than an hour drive to Bida but following degeneration of the conditions of the road, it now take motorists over four hours to get to Bida from Minna.
The Minna – Bida road was constructed some 35 years ago. Over time, it has outlived its lifespan and therefore require total reconstruction not palliative patch works and rehabilitation. No resurfacing or recalibration has been done on the road by successive regimes despite additional traffic on it over time.
Our correspondent in Minna passed through on the road on Monday, noticed that at various points along the road from Minna to Kateregi axis, over forty heavy duty trucks had broken down and were abandoned mid road at several intervals by their drivers to the mercy of other road users.
Due to the deplorable conditions of the road, journeying from Minna to Bida which used to take between forty five minutes to one hour to get to Bida, now takes about four hours to get to Bida from Minna inspite of the several hazards now associated with such expedition.
The Niger state branch of the National Association of Road Transport Workers in a statement to the Niger state government, decried the worsening state of the Minna – Kateregi to Bida road even as the state government appears incapable to address the condition of the road.
The statement noted that the road which is the only access link from the state capital, Minna to the southern parts of the state as well as to the south – west of Nigeria was very crucial to the economy of Nigeria and should therefore not be neglected.
“The Minna to Bida road is the only link route from the state capital, (Minna) to southern parts of the state and the link to other states of Nigeria on the south western flanks up to Lagos, Nigeria’s business and commercial capital” the statement said.
The association said the only solution to the bad and recurring failure of the road was to reconstruct it entirely by dualizing it to make room for the increased traffic on the road.
The association noted that the terrible state of the Bokani to Mokwa road on the southern flank of the state had necessitated the diversions by articulated vehicles drivers to the Minna – Kateregi – Bida road as alternate route to the southern parts of Nigeria hence the bad state of the Minna to Bida road due to the additional traffic on it.
It therefore appealed to the Niger state government to dualize the Minna to Bida road as the only solution to the worsening condition of the 86 kilometres road.
The condition of the road have been an increasing issue of complaints and condemnation of the state government over it’s inability to remedy the state of the road since coming into power in 2015 despite repeated promises and claims that it was doing something about the terrible state of the road but without result seen.