Kwara, Niger Govs laud Tinubu on construction of Sokoto/Badagry superhighway

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Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Stakeholders across Kwara and Niger States have commended President Bola Tinubu for the bold step to construct the 1,000-kilometre Sokoto-Badagry superhighway, with Governors AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Umaru Bago calling the project another evidence of the President’s commitment to drive phenomenal socioeconomic growth.

The stakeholders spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, where a stakeholders’ engagement was held to brief the public on the Kwara and Niger Sections of the superhighway as well as rally public support for it and other initiatives of the President.

At least 188 kilometres of the road cut through different Kwara communities, while 125 kilomteres of it are on Niger land.

The stakeholders session was at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Works, and was attended by Niger State Governor Bago; Kwara Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; federal and state parliamentarians including Kwara North’s Sadiq Umar; Minister of Youth Development Dr. Jamilah Bio; state cabinet members; royal fathers; industrialists led by Dr. Kamoru Yusuf of KAM Holdings; party stalwarts; community leaders; transport unions; farmers’ associations; civil society organisations; marketers associations; and the youths.

AbdulRazaq said the proposed road project attests to the bold vision of President Tinubu to develop infrastructure, which enhances national connectivity and helps to grow the economy.

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

The Governor, who was attending another significant event with the President in the national capital Abuja as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, was represented by Alabi.

“For the avoidance of doubt, 188 kilometres of the road traverse different towns and communities of Kwara State. The socioeconomic implications of this Renewed Hope Infrastructure Project for national connectivity and growth cannot be fully appreciated by this generation,” he added.

Governor Abdulrazaq applauded the Minister of Works Engr. David Umahi for the excellent job of combining the expertise of this critical terrain with the political skills of pushing through the different land mines.

“This conversation has helped our people to own the initiative, and I assure Mr. President and his team that our people will give all the support to see it through,” according to the Governor.

Governor Bago, for his part, urged the people from Kwara and Niger to support the federal government and take ownership of the road projects, saying they (projects) are for their own good.

“We need to talk to our people that the government is not grabbing your land; the federal government is bringing development to you. We are not going to pay one kobo for compensation because it is for your good,” Bago said.

The Governor said locals should support the project because of its accompanying benefits, cautioning communities against disturbing contractors or the government for compensation.

Umahi, who commended the supportive roles of Governors AbdulRazaq and Bago for the President, said the Ministry has 18 federal projects in Kwara State, saying more efforts will go into some of them that are deemed to be behind their implementation schedules.

The Minister appreciated AbdulRazaq and Bago for hosting the engagement and their hospitality in the course of the deliberations.

Umahi specifically commended the good works of Governor AbdulRazaq in Kwara and as the NGF chairman, saying: “Kwara is lucky to have Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. I have seen a lot of developments since coming to town. But he is not just doing great in Kwara, he is helping the President to properly create good relationships with the Governors. He is a very calm and humble man, and a silent achiever.”

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


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