North Central Governors, stakeholders hail Tinubu over legacy road projects

Chairman, North Central Governors Forum and Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State

North Central Governors, stakeholders hail Tinubu over legacy road projects

….Superhighways’re catalyst that’ll revive nation’s economy-Work Minister

Governors of the North Central geopolitical zone, as well as critical stakeholders particularly those of Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa States have commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for conceiving the idea of the Renewed Hope Legacy infrastructure project.

The Governors and stakeholders gave their commendations during a stakeholders engagement organized by the Federal Ministry of Works on the alignment of superhighway for the Renewed Hope Legacy infrastructure project, which held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on Friday.

In his address at the event, Chairman, North Central Governors Forum, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, commended President Tinubu for embarking on such iconic projects that have been in the pipeline for decades.

“Let me sincerely appreciate Mr President as everybody has done, for this iconic project. Iconic in the sense that this is a project that has been in the pipeline before some of us were born. Indeed, today, we are seeing the realities of these road projects,” he said.

While highlighting the significance of the project, Governor Sule however reiterated that critical role stakeholders can play towards actualizing the projects.

“I want to thank all the stakeholders, especially my colleagues, members of the national assembly, who have taken time to be here in order to discuss this project. Like I have mentioned over and over, this is a project and the most important element of the project are the stakeholders. It is happening where the stakeholders have input. It will make no sense whatsoever if the stakeholders are not part and parcel of this campaign,” he added.

Governor Sule pointed out that already, the people of Nasarawa State are witnessing the benefits associated with road infrastructure, particularly with the completion of the Keffi-Lafia dual carriageway.

“When I became the Governor of this state in 2019, it was very difficult to convince investors that we are looking for to travel and come to Lafia. Every time we ask them to come, they say no, let’s have the meeting in Abuja. In most cases we had those meetings in Abuja. The reverse is the case now. Most of the investors that we are working with are more than happy to come here to meet with us.

“So, even before these other roads have began, we are beginning to see the advantages in Nasarawa State,” he added.

On the call for states to repriotize in order to complete all uncompleted Federal Government projects, he identified the SisinBaki-Bokkos-Bauchi-Gombe highway, as well as the Kaduna-Keffi-Nasarawa-Toto-Abaji roads as two major roads that if completed, would ease transportation linking North Central to both the North West and North East.

Governor Sule informed the Minister of Works that his administration has already paid compensation for the construction of the section of the road known as Lafia Byepass, running from Shabu-Akunza, in a bid to fast track the project.

He also used the opportunity to speak on the efforts of his administration to deliver critical infrastructure in the state, especially the flyover and underpass presently under construction in Lafia.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Works, Engineer Dave Umahi, said the Renewed Hope Legacy infrastructure project undertaken by the President Tinubu administration is beyond road construction but an investment that would serve as a catalyst that will revive the economy of the country.

The Minister identified the Lagos-Ondo-Edo-Delta-Bayelsa-Rivers-Akwa Ibom-Cross Rivers (700km), the Sokoto- Kebbi-Niger-Kwara-Oyo-Ogun-Badagry and the Cross Rivers-Ebonyi-Benue-Kogi-Nasarawa-Apo as the legacy projects of the present administration which will bring lots of benefits particularly to the benefiting states.

“There are a lots of benefits because of these three superhighways. I want to assure that this is beyond road construction but it’s an investment. Because it is a catalyst that is going to revive the entire economy of the country.

“I request that you buy into it and support Mr President who still has about seven more years to deliver these projects. We believe that with these seven years these three legacy projects shall be delivered,” he said.

The Minister disclosed that all the road projects would be reinforced concrete that could last to up to 50 years before any maintenance is required.

“Each of these sections are going to be on reinforced concrete. Each of these sections has six lanes. It also has a train track. We are also using solar streetlights.

“The benefits of these three legacy projects cannot be overemphasized. It is going to be done in concrete. Sokoto-Badagry has 53 dams on that section. Any road properly constructed on concrete, for the next 50 years you will not touch it. Lagos-Calabar has a lot of potentials. In fact, we are aiming at finishing the first section 47.7km by May next year and we will be tolling it immediately,” he explained.

The Minister informed the federal executive council has directed that federal government projects spread across the states that have remained uncompleted for a long period should be determined and prioritised.

He spoke on the request by the North East to be linked with the legacy road projects, adding that he intends to seek the views of stakeholders from the region on how the North East could be connected with the legacy projects.

“The North East have made a case to be connected to the legacy projects at the senate and the President has directed that the North East be connected to the legacy projects. We are going to North East on Tuesday to discuss the connection. But we have an option. Abuja-Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi. By the time we do that, the entire six geopolitical zones can be linked up,” he said.

For the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, the Renewed Hope Legacy infrastructure project has potential to transform the country.

While commending President Tinubu for the initiative, Al-makura pointed out that with the Enugu-Oweto-Abuja Road in place, there is need for the Cross Rivers-Ebonyi-Benue-Kogi-Nasarawa-Apo to take a different route so that more access can be created to different parts of the country.

On his part, Senator Ahmed Aliyu Wadada (Nasarawa West, SDP), the quickest link to the North East would be through Tunga, in Nasarawa State to Taraba State, which he argued would not only expand Nasarawa State but also provide an alternative to those traveling to Abuja from the North East.

The North Central stakeholders engagement was attended by the Governors and Deputy Governors of Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa States, members of the national and state assemblies, former governors including Senator Abdullah Adamu, immediate past chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), critical stakeholders, traditional and religious leaders, amongst others.