The Senate has urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, consider an Emergency Intervention Fund to the tune of N300 billion for critical roads in Niger State linking economic corridors in the North and South.
This was just as Senators bemoaned the deplorable state of critical roads across the country.
According to the upper chamber, doing so would facilitate the infrastructure rehabilitation efforts of government to support ease of business and economic recovery.
These formed part of resolutions reached following a motion brought to the floor during plenary by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North).
Senator Sabi Abdullahi, while coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules spoke of the deplorable state of federal roads in Niger State.
He recalled that the poor state of the roads led to protest by heavy trucks and tanker drivers who blocked all entry and exit roads in the state
“Recall that Niger State has the longest federal road network of 2,263km out of a total of 32,000km of national federal roads network.
“The federal roads in Niger State stretched from the Abuja – Kaduna end to the Jebba – Mokwa – Makera – Tegina – Birnin Gwarimpa – Kaduna road to the Mokwa – New Bussa – Agwara – Kigera end which lies to the border with the Republic of Benin.
“Overall, the following are critical linkage roads within Niger State that provide logistical and vehicular movements between the North and South; especially the South West and North West corridors.
“Because of the massive land area of Niger State at 76,363km (representing about nine percent of the total land area of the country), all movements from North to South substantially traverse the state.
“Indeed, the massive haulage of heavy industrial goods such as petroleum products, iron rods, cement, finished manufactured goods, machines and equipment, electronic materials and goods, building materials etc, in which trucks and tankers are overloaded pits great pressure on the roads and thus are seriously devastating to the state of the roads,” he said.
The senate accordingly urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the critical roads in Niger State linking economic corridors in the North and South.
It also urged the Federal Government to direct the Federal Ministry of Works to carry out emergency stabilization of the failed portions of Bida – Lapai – Lambatta road to ease the current suffering and rate of accidents and loss of goods and investments in the road.
It also resolved that a National Legislative Roundtable on the State of Infrastructure for Economic Development be convoked, so as to bring all critical stakeholders in the transport and logistics industries together with a view to identifying urgent actions to address the current challenges.