Senate seeks dualisation of Makurdi-Otukpo-Obollo highway
After 38 years of construction, the Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Works to designate the Makurdi–Otukpo-Obollo Afor-Opii (Nsukka)-Ninth mile Federal ‘Trunk A’ Highway for immediate dualisation.
The Upper Chamber also mandated its Committee on Works to ascertain the state of the road and call on security agencies to increase surveillance, to protect commuters from nefarious activities of criminals.
The order is sequel to a motion sponsored by the Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi.
Senator Utazi said in spite of the fact that road infrastructure was critical for economic development, Makurdi-Ninth Mile road constructed in 1978 was in a state of disrepair.
He said that the road was the only major highway that connected the South-East to the Northern part of the country.
He expressed concerns that it was the only ‘Trunk A’ High way that remained a single lane in spite of its volume of traffic. He bemoaned the fact that such a federal road could be left in such a deplorable state for a long period of time, leading to several cases of accidents and a haven for criminals.
“The high level of road crashes and the carnage that happens on the road on a daily basis should be a source of constant worry to the government. During festive periods, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) would scrape specific segments of the road but even that recourses can no longer work, as large segments of the road have totally collapsed.”
Utazi observed that the travel time between Makurdi and Ninth Mile used to be about three hours, but with the total collapse of the road, travel time now averages nine hours.
“It is disturbing armed robbers now take advantage of the deplorable state of the road by ambushing, dispossessing, raping and killing commuters.”
Supporting the motion, Senator Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna) said it was pathetic that attention was not paid to roads being plied by poor Nigerians.