By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Niger State Government on Thursday announced the award of construction of the 86 kilometres Minna to Bida road to Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company.
But against popular expectations and clamour by road users and citizens generally for the road to be dualized, the state government said the contract is only for a single lane.
The condition of the Minna to Bida road has for almost five years been in worsening state as long stretch of vast portions of the road, at different spots, have failed and become unnavigable to road users.
Citizens in the state and particularly the motoring public have been asking the state government to dualized the road in view of the volume of huge traffic on the road and to ease movements and navigation on the road.
The 86 kilometers road is the only access road to the southern parts of the state from Minna the Niger state capital. It was constructed over thirty five years ago.
Commissioner of Works and Infrastructural Development in the state, Engineer Ibrahim Panti disclosed that the project would cost =N=23.9 billion.
The amount according to the commissioner would be sourced from the SUKUK Bond acquired by the state government.
Work on the project is expected to be completed in eighteen months according to the terms of the contract whose dotted lines were signed by the commissioner for the Niger state government while the Managing Director of the company signed for the construction company.
Engineer Ibrahim Mohammed Panti said pressure from road users and citizens had compelled the state government to award the contract for a single lane as against the clamour for a dualized road even as he explained further that the road would be dualized later when negotiations for would have been sealed.
He said the single lane would allow for normal flow of traffic on the road though he conceded that the increase in the volume of traffic on the road had been a huge challenge and cause of the wear and tear of the road over time.
For over two years traversing on the road have been nightmarish as many vehicles got trapped or crashed or tiptoed and overturned their haulages.