Thursday, August 28, 2003

Benue Assembly chides FG over abandoned road project

From Hir Joseph, in Makurdi

The Benue State House of Assembly has chided the federal government over the abandonment of a road project meant to link the state with Cross River from Konshisha, a border local government lying between the two states.

In its Tuesday session, the House lamented the abandonment of the road project started about five years ago, and unanimously condemned the federal government for the brazen neglect of its duty.

Mr. Shimawala Azaigba, representing Konshisha constituency, who raised the issue on the floor of the House, said apart from the deplorable condition of the existing one, the federal government kept out completely the construction of bridges. This, according to him, earned some jobless youths in the area an opportunity to make brisk business as they quickly moved in to construct makeshift bridges on which they collect outrageous toll from motorists.

Mr. Azaigba lamented further that apart from the danger posed by the deplorable state of the road, absence of bridges as well as the unregulated activities of the youths, the development has further brought down economic transactions between the border towns of Awajin in Konshisha, Benue State and Ogoja in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.

He therefore appealed to the federal government to consider without delay, the economic importance of the road with a view to reviewing the contract and returning contractors to work.

Responding on behalf of the House, Speaker Mzenda Iho directed the House Standing Committee on Works and Housing, to contact the Federal Ministry of Works for details and up-to-date information about the road.

He said only on such information would the House act with a direction.

He also emphasised that the federal road project was a serious issue, which the House would look into, and work harder in establishing a link with the federal government with a view to getting favourable result.