By Rose Onda
The Senate, on Tuesday, urged the federal government to provide emergency intervention fund to the tune of N300 billion to fix critical roads in Niger State.
It also called on the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to release funds for emergency of repair of bad roads and bridges nationwide.
These followed two motions by Senators Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) and Lekan Mustapha (APC, Ogun) on the state of federal roads across the country.
Senator Abdullahi called the attention of his colleagues to the blockade on critical roads in Niger State by truck drivers, protesting deplorable condition of the roads, which they said had resulted in loss of lives and goods worth millions of Naira.
He said the only major motorable road in the state has been under intense pressure and may not last beyond two years if other critical roads were not fixed urgently.
The lawmaker lamented that roads under construction in the state have been abandoned by contractors due to poor funding.
Senator Bima Enagi (APC, Niger) expressed worry that only N60 billion out of N250 billion had been released for about 15 road projects that had been awarded in Niger State.
The Senate, accordingly, urged the federal government to declare state of emergency on critical roads in Niger State.
It also asked the federal government to direct the ministry of works to carry out emergency stabilisation of the failed portions of roads to ease the current result and rate of accidents, causing loss of lives and goods and investments on the road.
The Red Chamber also called for the convocation of a stakeholders’ roundtable on the state of infrastructure for economic development with a view to identifying urgent action needed to address the current challenges.