OrderPaperToday – In a rare display of legislative collaboration, the Kwara and Niger States Houses of Assembly have jointly called on the federal government to fix the Ilorin-Jebba highway linking the northern and southern parts of the country.
Members of both legislatures led by their speakers made the call during an inspection of the deplorable highway to share the pains and hardship being daily encountered by motorists plying the route.
The lawmakers noted with displeasure that the highway had claimed many lives and crippled socio- economic activities of the two states due to its present deplorable condition, pointing out that no road was as bad as the highway in the country.
Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad in his remark lamented that all federal roads in kwara State are in deplorable condition.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently fix the highway and other federal roads in the state to fast track the socio-economic emancipation of Kwara.
The Niger State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Ahmed Marafa expressed shock over the poor state of the road, recalling that the resolution of the assembly on December 10 2015, had called on the Federal Government to take immediate action on the road.
Earlier, the Controller of Federal Ministry of Works in Kwara State, Engineer Omotayo Awosanya while briefing the legislators on the highway said the 96 kilometres highway asphalt overlay rehabilitation project was awarded to CGC Nigeria Limited at a cost of N14.5 billion in December 2013.
Awosanya who said N1b was paid as part payment of N2b mobilisation fee disclosed that the contractor handling the project abandoned the project due to non payment of the remaining N1b mobilisation fee and additional N1.6b so far expended on the road’s rehabilitation by the Federal Government.
This, he said was occasioned by zero allocation for the project in the 2015 budget, thereby making 50 kilometres of the highway, which he described as Trans-Sahara road network to collapse and impassable for the road users.
He however disclosed that the contractor handling the project despite non release of outstanding payment by the federal government had agreed to return to site with the hope that the new leadership in the country would demonstrate greater political will to include the completion of the Trans-Sahara road network in the next year’s budget.