Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has directed relevant agencies in the state to open up all closed roads.
He added that with the instruction, Fuel laden tankers carrying 45,000 Litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and 35 tonnes of dry cargo can now ply across the state.
The governor gave the directive when he briefed journalists shortly during a meeting Chaired by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Minister of Works and Housing all in attendance.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello stated that the meeting was mainly to discuss issues arising from the closure of all Niger State-owned roads to articulated vehicles, where he explained the condition of roads in the state to the top-ranking officials of the Federal Government.
They unanimously acknowledged that the deplorable roads in the state were mostly due to the movement of articulated vehicles carrying overloads of fuel and dry cargoes which has resulted to the destruction of the roads and brought hardship on other road users.
Governor Abubakar Bello, however, said the opening of the roads is to allow for free movement of goods and services to ease the hardship that would be caused by the closure to heavy trucks, pointing out that it was a sacrifice that has to be made at this dire period for the interest of northern region in particular and the country at large.
Under the new arrangement, according to Governor Sani-Bello, “no articulated vehicle carrying Petroleum products of more than 45,000 litres of fuel and 35,000 tonnes of dry cargo will be allowed into the state”.
Also, special interventions were expected to be carried out by the Federal government in the state, these include remedial works on the Bida-Lapai-Lambata and Mokwa-Tegina-Brinin Gwari roads to serve as alternative routes for articulated vehicles.
The governor added that the state needs the support of the Federal government to carry out remedial works on Farin Doki-Minna-Bida roads to allow for movement of heavy trucks, pointing out that the Minister of Works and Housing has reiterated the commitment of Federal the government to completing the projects.
The governor thereby expressed optimism that the Mokwa-Tegina-Birnin Gwari road, when fixed, effective security will be provided on the road as it was prone to security challenges.
He, however, appealed to people of the state to be patient with the decision, hoping that the Federal government’s special interventions will be effected in no distant time.