By Najem Francis, Sokoto
The former speaker of Sokoto State House of Assembly and one-time acting governor of the state, Dr. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame have said that the construction of a short-cut road from Sokoto to Badagry in Lagos state was long overdue.
Dr. Salame who now represents Gwadabawa/Illela federal constituency in the House of Representatives spoke in Sokoto at a media forum organised by the state council of the Nigerian Union Journalists (NUJ).
He observed that the proposed road would reduce the journey from Sokoto to Lagos to only five hours and lamented that the idea of the short-cut road which was muted during Shagari era “has remained an idea till now” despite the huge economic benefits it would bring to the nation.
The law maker disclosed that he was the co-sponsor of a motion passed by the House of Representatives for the construction of the road and expressed the hope that the federal government would respond positively in the near future.
He expressed satisfaction that a similar motion passed by the House has resulted in the ongoing reconstruction of Sokoto -Tambuwal-Yauri -Kontagora-Makera-Jebba to Ilorin-Ibadan road junctions, adding that the road had become a death trap before the reconstruction.
Other motion/bills sponsored by him and passed by the House included assistance to border communities of Nigeria/Niger border which were affected by drought and a motion to investigate incessant killings in Sokoto state by men of the Customs Service.
He defended another motion sponsored by him and passed by the House calling for the suspension of the prohibition of vehicles importation through land borders.
He asserted that rather than encourage smuggling, the motive was to make things easier for the Nigerian importers by copying what obtains in the neighbouring countries from which the vehicles were being brought into the country.
Dr. Salame disclosed that thirty people got federal jobs through his efforts since his election into the national assembly in 2011 and that his constituency had benefited from various constituency projects running into millions of naira, particularly in the area of potable water which was in short supply in the two local government areas.