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Monday, July 15, 2024

Kwara and Niger governors praise Tinubu for Sokoto-Badagry superhighway project

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Governors AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Umaru Bago of Kwara and Niger States have commended President Bola Tinubu for the 1,000-kilometre Sokoto-Badagry superhighway project being executed by his administration.

The governors spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Thursday at a forum held to brief the public on the Kwara and Niger sections of the superhighway.

At least 188 kilometres of the road passes through different Kwara communities, while 125 kilometres passes through Nigerien lands.

The forum, organised by the Federal Ministry of Works, was attended by Kwara Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; federal and state lawmakers, including Sadiq Umar from Kwara North; Minister of Youth Development Jamilah Bio; state cabinet members; traditional rulers; and industrialists led by Kamoru Yusuf of KAM Holdings.

The event was also attended by groups such as party activists, community leaders, transport unions, farmers’ associations, civil society organisations, merchants’ associations and youth.

Governor AbdulRazaq said the proposed road project is a testament to President Tinubu’s bold vision to develop infrastructure, which will enhance national connectivity and help grow the economy.

“What we are doing this afternoon is another testament to President Tinubu’s bold vision and proof that our country is in a race to align development priorities and population growth with commensurate infrastructure that connects every part of Nigeria. But far more important is the President’s decision to make the people the centrepiece of this bold vision,” Governor Abdul Razaq said.

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The Governor, who was attending another event with the President in Abuja as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, was represented by Mr Alabi.

He applauded the Minister of Works, David Umahi, for his tenacious execution of the project.

Governor Bago, for his part, urged the inhabitants of the two states to support the federal government and take ownership of the road project.

“We need to tell our people that the government is not taking over their land; the federal government is providing them with development. We are not going to pay a single kobo as compensation because it is for their own good,” Bago said.

He said local people should support the project for its benefits, warning communities not to harass contractors or the government for compensation.

Mr. Umahi commended the governors for supporting the President.

He said the ministry has 18 federal projects in Kwara State.

“We will interact with the governor, the commissioner of works, the federal controller of works and the ministry, and we will review the projects and give them priorities,” he added.

“There are four projects underway on tax credit with BUA (in Kwara). I have been assured that these projects will be delivered as soon as possible. They are all government projects under President Tinubu. They are not social service projects of the company. We are the ones funding them with a different funding mechanism.”

The Minister commended Mr AbdulRazaq and praised the role of the Ministers of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi SAN and Ms Bio, in approving the construction of the Kaiama-Tesse-Kishi road.

“Yesterday we arrived from Kebbi where we presented the section of Sokoto and Kebbi states. Of the various states that this project will pass through, Kebbi has the longest length at 250km; the second is Kwara State at 188km and the third is Niger State at 125km,” Umahi said.

“The Sokoto-Badagry highway has been in the process of construction for the last 48 years. You can imagine the successive administrations that came and went, and not even a single kilometre was done. It remained a dream. The Lagos-Calabar Coastal Expressway was proposed by President Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State 25 years ago. The President will carry out the three inherited projects.

“We invite the governors to join the project. I am lucky that the two governors are the best friends of Mr. President. Therefore, I have no problem with the project.”

READ ALSO: Kwara communities suffer deforestation and land degradation after white farmers leave Zimbabwe

For his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Barinada Mpigi, condemned the rate of abandonment of road projects by contractors after being mobilised and said the Senate would not hesitate to sanction offenders if they fail to return to sites on time.

Mr Yusuf, in his goodwill message, said the project would be a great relief to the entire nation in terms of logistics and travel time.

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