Niger issues 72-hour notice for closure of Paiko-Lapai road


Ongoing construction work on the Paiko-Lapai road, Niger State

Niger State Government has issued a 72-hour notice to articulated vehicles to find alternative routes as reconstruction work is about to begin on the Paiko-Lapai road.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Muhammad Idris, said that the closure became necessary so as to allow contractors to begin work on the road.

On September 15th, 2020, the Niger State Government had closed down Minna-Bida road to heavy-duty vehicles to allow for its reconstruction.

The state government said that the recent decision became necessary after spending so much resources with the objective of rehabilitating the road, noting that the over 2,500 articulated vehicles plying it daily reversed the gains made, resulting in total waste of resources.

Also, Minna-Zungeru, Lapai-Paiko roads were closed alongside Minna-Bida road but after continuous pressure from Federal Government with a promise to fix the Lambata-Bida road, the state government agreed to open the state-owned part of the Zungeru road.

“As predicted, in less than a month of opening, the road itself became un-motorable as it moved from manageable to completely unusable.

“For over a year, the state government waited for Lambata-Bida road to be fixed, but nothing was done until only recently, on the 24th September 2021.

“After tanker drivers blocked the Lambata axis of the Minna-Suleja road and Bida axis of Bida-Lambata road in protest of bad roads, again the State Government was invited by the Federal Ministry of Works, this time assuring the Niger State Government that remedial measures would be carried out on the critical sections of the Lambata-Bida road but that the contractor could not move equipment to site, citing the road blockade as impediment. The State Government agreed to temporarily open Paiko-Lapai road to enable the contractor move equipment to site.

“More than two weeks has now passed but no work has been seen to be ongoing on the Lambata-Bida road,” Idris said.

Meanwhile, the state government said it has awarded Lapai-Paiko road and that the contractor has moved to site.

“But seeing as these articulated vehicles in their thousands are constantly plying the road, the State Government cannot be unmindful of the accompanying result of this situation. The road in the last two weeks has now gone from bad to worse while the contractor cannot work optimally.

“In light of the above, the Niger State Government is issuing a 72-hour notice to all stakeholders that, from today, the 11th day of October 2021, the Lapai-Paiko road would be closed to allow the contractor room to function optimally and deliver result in a timely manner and to the highest possible standard,” he said. (Punch)

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