Tinubu inaugurates Sokoto-Badagry coastal highway construction August

 President Bola Tinubu is scheduled to inaugurate the construction work of the 1000-km Sokoto-Badagry Coastal Highway in August.


The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, disclosed this during a stakeholder engagement on the project in Birnin Kebbi.


Umahi said that he was directed by the president to come to Kebbi with some ministers and members of the National Assembly to unveil the scope of the project.


“The project is the old West African Trade Route, and the processes for the commencement of the construction of the 1000km six-lane super highway are in progress.


”Kebbi State has the lion share of the project; the first phase of construction will start here, covering three lanes on each side of the road.


“120 kilometres of road lay in Sokoto State, while 258 kilometres pass through Kebbi State, which is the largest beneficiary in the country.


”The super highway extends to Illela border town with Niger Republic in Sokoto State and down to Badagry in Lagos State,” he said.


The Minister added: “The Sokoto-Badagry corridor boasts 53 dams that would be developed for agriculture and electricity and serve as trade routes with other African countries.


”The super highway, like the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, is an investment venture for Nigeria’s economic prosperity.


”There are lots of benefits: security, tourism, smooth transportation, and industrial growth.”


Umahi also spoke on the construction of the 55-kilometre Gadar Zaima-Zuru road in Kebbi, of which only six kilometres had been repaired.


According to him, though the road is an NNPC project, the progress of work has not been good.


“I have invited the contractor to Abuja for an explanation. It has been the behaviour of international contractors to abandon work after collecting payment; we will no longer tolerate this unbecoming attitude.


“Any contractor who is given a project but cannot do it will have the federal government revoke the contract and re-award it to another company; we want to encourage our local contractors,” he said.


The minister explained that the government was also looking into the 87-kilometre Koko-Mahuta-Dabai road, of which only six kilometres were reconstructed.


“I have the power to revoke the contract. Gov. Nasir Idris recommended revoking the work and allowing the Kebbi government to carry out the work and seek reimbursement.


“The governor can lobby the president to seek a refund; you are dear to him,” Umahi said.


The minister said the federal government was also not happy about the pace of work on the Malando-Warrah road, explaining that appropriate action would be applied as a remedy.


“There is 55km Argungu-Natsini road and the Jega-Kwanar Sanagi-Kebbe road, which is not encouraging.


”The North must begin to enjoy concrete roads that will last up to between 100 and 200 years.


”From now on, only contractors with the right equipment capable of building concrete roads will be engaged for road projects.


“Without good roads, it is like we are in prison, as good roads enhance agricultural mechanisation, security, smooth transportation, longevity of vehicles, and boost the economy.


”This is part of the Renewed Hope Legacy Infrastructural Projects of President Tinubu,” the minister said.


In his remarks, Gov. Idris described the Sokoto-Badagry Super Highway as indelible legacy of the All Progressive Congress’s (APC) administration.


“We are part of it; we are in the APC, and we believe in the ability of President Tinubu to deliver.


“He removed the dust off the file of the Sokoto-Badagry Super Highway project, which has been kept dormant for almost 50 years.


“Tinubu is fulfilling the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians,” he said.


Idris, informed the minister that he would present a report to him in Abuja containing the input of the people of the state on the construction of the super highway for better results.


The Director, Federal Highways, Bridges, and Design, Mr Bede Obioha, informed the stakeholders that the Sokoto-Badagry six lane Super Highway would start from Illela, Tangaza, Binji, Gwadabawa, Silame, and Argungu in Sokoto State.


”From Argungu in Kebbi State, the road stretches to Ambursa, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Dakingari, and Kamba, extending to other states up to Badagry.


”On completion of the project, there will be consistency in free flow of traffic,” the director said.


The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammadu Mera, affirmed the support of traditional rulers for the road construction, assuring that they would mobilise their people towards successful completion of the project.


The Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Sen. Barinada Mpigi, two other members of the committee, Sen. Adamu Aliero and Sen. Aminu Tambuwal, as well as the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Works, Mr Akin Alabi, delivered goodwill messages.


They reaffirmed the commitment of the national assembly to provide necessary legislative support to President Tinubu on infrastructural development, socio-economic and industrial growth of the nation. (NAN)

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