Pegi community in Gaube Ward of Kuje Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is mostly dominated by civil servants, majority of whom work in Abuja.
But the 14.7 kilometre stretch of road, which links Kuje-Airport Road to the city centre has continued to suffer neglect since it was awarded in 2011 to an indigenous construction company (Verallen Nigeria Limited) at the cost of N655 million.
The company, our reporter reliably gathered, had pledged to complete the road within a period of nine months after a sum of N110m was released to the contractor as mobilization to commence work.
But, the work on the road project has continued to witnessed a slow pace, which has raised serious concerns among residents of Pegi community, especially civil servants who ply the road daily to work in the city, as well as other motorists.
Some residents who spoke with our reporter in the community, yesterday, expressed concern over the slow pace of work on the road, which they said has continued to cause untold hardship for them.
They said the non completion of the road project in the last 9 years, has posed serious security threat to residents and motorists plying the road.
A civil servant, who resides in Pegi, Francis Emmanuel, said armed robbers and kidnappers have taken advantage of the non completion of the road to ambush innocent people along the road.
He said the Kuje-Pegi road was the only access road linking Kuje town and the city centre.
Another resident of the community, who corroborated Francis on the activities of kidnappers, armed robbers and suspected motorcycle snatchers on the road, noted that there were some black spots where motorists are always attacked.
“You would recall that last year, some residents of Pegi community held a protest after kidnappers killed some people and abducted nine persons who were mostly civil servants, as a result of the bad state of the road,” he said.
He said following the protest at Area 11 in Abuja, on October 8, 2019, the minister of state for FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, addressed the residents with the assurance that the road project would be reawarded to another company to ensure speedy completion.
“Uptil today, nothing has been done about the road, apart from a small piece of work carried out on a distance of about few meters,” he said.
Also speaking with our reporter, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) Pegi Community Development Association (PECDA), Mr. Oyedeji Oyetunji, said 80 percent of residents of the community who are lawful citizens of the country were relocated to Pegi from Idu Karmo after their houses were demolished.
He said it was unfortunate that after all the promises to provide infrastructural development such as road, water and other social amenities, the FCT administration has not lived up to its responsibilities in providing any, especially good access road.
He said despite the fact that 60 percent of residents are civil servants while 40 percent are business owners and retirees, the major challenge residents of the community have faced over the years has been lack of good road.
“In fact, because of the bad state of the road, there have always been cases of armed robbery, assassination and kidnappings all along the road leading to the community,” he said.
According to him, the bad road also hinders the swift response of security personnel whenever there was armed robbery attack along the road.
“We are fully aware that the 14.7km Pegi-Kuje road was awarded since 2011, but we are appealing to the FCT administration to, as a matter of urgency, come to our aid,” he said.
Daily Trust Saturday visited the site and observed that about 500 meters out of the 14km road has been constructed and asphalted while motorists coming from both directions try to manoeuvre their way through some bad portions to continue their journey.
Commenting, the chairman of Kuje Area Council, Abdullahi Suleiman Sabo, said the Kuje-Pegi road project has been lying fallow over the years, but said the council at its own level will put pressure on the FCT administration to ensure the contractor was mobilized back to site.
When contacted, the acting director of Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA) declined to speak on the issue via telephone, insisting on a letter from the media organization and clearance from appropriate authorities.