I must say that the rehabilitation of the Abuja – Kaduna dual carriageway has been excellent. As I drove on it this morning, I listened to The Seekers play their 1965 hit song I’ll Never Find Another You.
A total of about 20km (12.5%) of the 160km road has been completed in the past four years. Nevertheless, it will be finished someday. With this pace, it will not be completed before 2023, but in 2049. In a day, the Kaduna – Kano leg is faster by an hour.
Northerners fear that the next President if he comes from the South will abandon this road, and many others in the northern part of the country, just as Obasanjo abandoned unfinished PTF roads and Goodluck abandoned many road projects started by Yar’adua. There are many others as well. Some of the ones listed below I used in the last 10 days, not to mention many others.
The president announced earlier today that the modern railway project between Kano and Kaduna will be completed within 18 months! That will be a record-breaking performance. People from this part of the country suggested that it should have been launched at the same time with Lagos – Ibadan segment then.
In spite of the insults that Amaechi and northerners received from haters, how far is the Kano – Maradi railway project and when will it begin? How about the dredging of the Niger, which has been abandoned since Yar’adua’s death and was one of Buhari’s first promises, along with the Baro Port at which the ships of promises are now docked. As a continuation of Baba’s legacy, I hope their load will figure again in Amaechi’s manifesto for the presidency.
Three years after announcing the award of the Akwanga – Gombe dual carriageway, which comes 30 years after the construction of the Abuja – Kaduna dual carriageway, not even a site office has been built. Nevertheless, a demarcation exercise was conducted last year to ensure that it will happen eventually.
One might not be exaggerating if he says the Keffi – Akwanga road, which I took today, has slowed down. Don’t forget that Setraco spent ten years constructing the dual carriageway between Abuja and Keffi. Therefore, we must not be in a hurry. After all, the Akwanga road is 16 km longer.
As I heard today, Setraco has been awarded the notorious Saminaka-Jos road. Someone said the company makes good quality roads and works quickly. Hopefully so. Julius Berger was awarded this project by Buhari in 1996 under the PTF and abandoned immediately when Obasanjo took over. Now, 25 years later, and again two years before he leaves, Buhari has awarded it once more. We pray that if we are handed over to another Obasanjo, it will not be abandoned.
There is nothing happening on the Zaria – Pambegua road. It has been abandoned. Over 40 years have passed since this road was rehabilitated. Outside of Zaria, a little has been done, but nothing more.
Could someone tell us whether work is being done between Kaduna and Pambegua apart from the 30 km stretch that was done during Yar’adua 10 years ago? Nearly two years have passed since I last drove on that road.
Bambam and Numan have done a thorough job, especially for the Savanna Sugar Company segment. When completed, it will definitely last. I wonder why the easy, hilly section from Bambam that needs just resurfacing is not done in five years like Numan – Savanna, which drives so smoothly. To the road user, the project management strategy is not convincing. During 2016, I threatened to block the door of the other room to Mr. President if this road wasn’t built quickly. We will have cause to be very grateful to Mr. Fashola if it is completed before 2023, toh. It would be like Yar’adua dying twice on that road. God forbid bad things happen. It’s bad enough to die once.
I avoided taking the shorter, but much dreaded Numan – Jalingo highway last week and instead took the long way through Mayo Belwa from Ngurore to reach Jalingo. Numan – Jalingo Road is the mother of all bad roads in the country. In Jalingo, a senior official whispered to me that nothing is done on the road despite their protests. The Tarabans believe that an anaconda swallowed the contract. Perhaps it will vomit it when it achieves its ambition in 2023.
About 12 km of poorly laid asphalt has been done on the Bauchi – Gombe road in the past four years. This terribly wobbly layer was selectively layered on a neat segment of the road that required the least attention, while the worst part from Bauchi was left untouched. The contractor has already left the site. Perhaps that was all he received.
I must celebrate the dual carriageway between Kano and Maiduguri. The Azare – Dutse segment is my favorite. Jonathan did not stop on this road, and this government sourced money through Sukuk to move forward.
The super minister, Fashola, has really done well. I am only wondering why he did not sukuk or Chinese other roads as he did with the Lagos – Ibadan railway and dual carriageways.
We pray that our prayers will be answered. There will be no Obasanjo or anyone from our own line in 2023 who will treat our interest with levity, but who will instead show concern for all Nigerians equally and continue with his projects as soon as he can – whomever that may be. and from anywhere he would come.
Dr. Tilde wrote from Bauchi