Niger State People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has called on the All Progressives Congress-led Government of Governor Sani Bello to use all funds budgeted for the reconstruction of the Minna-Bida road to clear the backlog of salaries owed civil servants in the state, now that the NNPC has taken over rehabilitation work on the road
The party made the demands in a statement signed by the state Chairman Tanko Beji and made available to newsmen in Minna.
Beji said the party has taken note of the incoherent communication from the Niger State Government over the “Rehabilitation” “Dualization” or “Upgrading” of the Minna- Bida road that is beginning to assume another dimension.
He stated, “with the takeover by NNPC, all funds related to or budgeted or sourced for the purpose of the “dualisation” “upgrade “ or “rehabilitation” whichever may be suitable should be used for the purpose of clearing backlog of salaries of poor workers, pensioners and for other infrastructural development that has suffered neglect since the coming of APC led Government, that is unable to fix common street lights”.
The chairman explained that before the expiration of the PDP administration in the state, the government sought a loan of $181 million from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to dualize the Minna- Bida for ease of movement and expand the economic activities flowing from Southern part to up north.
“This loan didn’t come in before the coming of the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello led APC administration in the state.
“Ever since then, it has been from one story to the other, in 2019 Governor Sani Bello confirmed the existence of the loan request but said the funds are yet to be received, yet the contract for rehabilitation of Bida- Minna road single loan was awarded at the sum of N24 billion till date work done is below pass mark”.
Beji noted that earlier, a former Commissioner of works in the APC government told newsmen that N2 billion was been spent on the reconstruction of the same road.
He also argued that in September 2021, the APC led government in the State confirmed that $86.6 million (almost N50b at the current exchange rate) has been approved by the Islamic development bank (IDB) for the “upgrading” of the same Minna – Bida road.
” Just hours ago, the NNPC was announced to”fix “ or”take over “ the”repairs “ of Minna -Bida road among others listed, this announcement came from the Federal executive council through the Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola,” he said.
The Niger PDP further maintained that the ”monotonous confounding communication is deliberate, PDP believes; is to confuse the people on the deliberate effort geared at profiteering on the plight of the people that has seen the Minna – Bida road blocked several times by motorists”
It added that the Minna – Bida road is a very important artery that should not be joked with but be dualized as planned by the past PDP administration since funds available to the state and or NNPC would be enough to do so.
The 80km Minna-Bida road is among the seven roads in the state-approved by the NNPC on the list of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to be fixed in the North Central Zone.