Resuscitation of abandoned Bagana-Guto road projects will reduced gridlock/flooded Abuja-Lokoja highway – Aminu A. Atabo.
In 2008, two visionary leaders of North Central extractions in the persons of Alhaji Ibrhim Idris, the then Executive Governor of Kogi State and the late Alhaji Akwe Doma of Nassarawa State together with the Federal Government of Nigeria agreed to a conceptualized idea to build a 90-kilometre Bagana -Guto Road projects with a bridge of 2-kilometres to be constructed over River Benue on a Private Public Partnership (PPP) at the initial contract sum of N24.3billion.
The two leaders seeing the number of hours commuters spent between the Northern and Southern part of the country agreed with the Technical Team from the Federal Highway Department of the Federal Ministry of Works to fund the road projects which will ultimately reduced travelling to the Eastern part of the country from the Federal Capital Territory by 3-hours without and also without experiencing the usual gridlocks on the existing Lokoja-Abuja flood-prone highway.
This alternate road projects was to be funded on a 20 % equity contributions by both State Governments which was paid by them at N1 billion each while the Conccesion, NAIRDA was to contribute the rest 60%. However, Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Works seeing the importance of the road projects decided to invest in it by paying 87% of her own contributions towards the completion of the project that had an initial completion period of 24 months.
This laudable projects was unfortunately abandoned till date with nobody or institutions saying anything about it!
Although several efforts has been initiated in the past to re-award the contract to a Chinese tolling company by name Digital Toll Company Limited on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis has not seen the lights of the day.
Almost 14 years after the commencement of the this project nothing has been heard or said about this projects.
It’s therefore imperative to state that, with the present experience of floods taking over the ever-busy Lokoja-Abuja highway, this complimentary or you may want to call it alternative roads has really come to the fore.
The Hon. Minister of Works and Housing has to take the bull by the horn and ensure the completion of this all-important road projects without poiticing the next phase of the project after all a similar road projects linking Kogi-Benue -Southern part of the bridge named Loko-Oweto-bridge was started and completed within this period under review!