Closure of state-owned roads to articulated vehicles begins today in Niger state

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 Dualization of Minna-Bida Road

Niger state Government on Tuesday shut down the Minna-Bida state-owned road to articulated vehicles due to its deplorable condition, as well as to allow for speedy reconstruction of the road.

A statement signed by Mary Noel-Berje, Chief Press Secretary (CPS)  to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, of Niger state and made available to SummitNews, said a barricade had been mounted on the Minna end of the road to stop heavy trucks from accessing Bida.

The road closure comes after the announcement by the state government of the closure of all its roads to articulated vehicles some weeks back.

Recall that the Minna-Bida road, which has witnessed incessant breakdown of articulated vehicles on the road, has caused untold hardship on commuters..

Other roads closed are; Lapai-Paiko, Chanchaga Bridge-Maikunkele, Muye-Lapai, and Zungeru w- Wushishi roads.

The government assured that the restriction of articulated vehicles on the state-owned roads would be effective as series of critical stakeholders meetings have been held, and the stakeholders are in support of the decision stressing that the closure only affects the state-owned roads.

Meanwhile, the state government has warned that any driver of an articulated vehicle caught on the closed roads will have himself to blame as the government has made widespread publicity on its closure.

The state government, however, enjoined its citizens to show some level of understanding as it is not unaware of the inconveniences the restriction will cause, saying that  it is in the overall interest of the state. 

Some of the drivers of the trailers also welcomed the closure, saying they hope the restriction will bring about the desired result.

Yusuf Ahmed, one of the articulated vehicle drivers who was caught up in the barricade, said he plied the road due to an accident on the Minna-Bida Road, and appealed for consideration.

He added that Minna-Bida Road was the only motorable road now as that of Bida-Agaie-Lapai-Lambata and Tegina-Birnin roads are in bad condition, coupled with the presence of bandits and kidnappers along the route 

The statement added that considering the current development, the initial 18 dry months time frame for completion of the Minna-Bida Road is no longer feasible due to some challenges, saying the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure will adopt measures to enable the contractors complete the project on record time .

The Chairman of Infrastructure and Monitoring Committee who is also the  Chief of staff to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, in company of other team members cut across relevant ministries, departments and parastatals carried out the closure on behalf of the state government.

“With the closure of all state owned roads to heavy duty trucks in the state, it is hoped that the attention of the relevant Federal authorities will be drawn to the state as it hosts most of the Federal Roads in the country, and also bearing in mind that it connects the Northern and the Southern parts of the country,” the statement concluded.

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