By Ismail Abdulaziz
The Niger State Government says it is keeping pace with its development strides in the area of infrastructure especially during the second tenure of Gov. Abubakar Bello.
Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, Chief of Staff to the governor and Chairman of the state Infrastructure Committee, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
Balarabe was speaking on the background of the celebration of the first year of Bello’s second term in office.
He said that the provision of infrastructure was effectively handled by the governor in his dogged resolve to develop the state to an enviable height.
“On that basis, the government has continued to improvise, in its quest to deliver on the expectations of the people, through the provision of basic social amenities and quality infrastructure.
“As a people-centered and sensitive government, Bello was mindful of the change mantra slogan that brought him to power. The crux of that slogan is to bring about positive social change and development in the lives of the people.”
Balarabe said that the administration gave priority to the reconstruction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads in the state to boost economic activities.
He noted that some of the roads that received early attention included Sabon Gari-UK Bello Arts Theatre Road and the Gwari Market Road, the second-largest market in the state capital, where the famous Gwadabe Market and PZ office were located.
Balarabe added that government also completed the Kure Market-Old Airport-Kuta Road, Tunga Round as well as the GRA Road in Bida.
“Other roads constructed and rehabilitated are the Limawa Road, Himma-Brighter Road, Bosso District Head Road, New York Road Bosso opposite FUT, Minna, Fadikpe-Gbegenu Road and the completion of the Zungeru Township Road.
“Also on the front burner are Minna-Bida Road, Garima-Tunga Low Cost Road, Morris Fertiliser-Union Bank Roundabout Road in Minna, Minna Abattoir Road, Bosso Estate Road, Maitumbi neighbourhood Roads and Tagwai Dam Road.”
He said another crucial road under construction is the Shiroro Bridge-Erena Road in Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, which will open the town to major markets as most inhabitants there are farmers and traders.
“The governor is also addressing the challenges facing the ancient town of Zungeru, which is the birthplace of prominent Nigerian nationalists like President Nnamdi Azikiwe, former Governor of Old Eastern Nigeria, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, the great writer Cyprian Ekwensi among others.
“Gov. Sani Bello is addressing challenges facing the ancient town’s major township roads. While everything is being worked out to connect it to the national grid, as the electrification project has reached 75 per cent completion.
“Similarly, Kontagora has got a major facelift; there has been massive road construction in the ancient town. Another six roads contract has been awarded in Kontagora to the tune of N300 million, which will bring about total transformation of the town.”
He added that the state government has also taken a bold decision in revamping the transportation sector, with over N1 billion injected into the sector.
He said that the administration purchased 64 new buses for the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) through a bank facility, adding that a consultant was engaged to ensure the prompt repayment of the facility.
“NSTA has sustained its workshop for the repairs of any broken-down vehicle as well as training of their drivers.
“The emphasis of the present government is to ensure completion of ongoing projects before exiting in 2023. Therefore, the government is focused and determined not to leave uncompleted projects littering the state come 2023. If this is achieved, it would be a roadmap to accelerated development in the state,” he said.