On August 8, 2018, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola said the federal government approved the expansion of the Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe Road to dual carriageway at the cost of N348.6 billion with a delivery period of 48 months.
The road, though, yet to be completed is crucial to the north-eastern region of the country. The region faces the challenge of poor road networks, especially from Plateau to Bauchi and Gombe states. The road linking Jos to Bauchi is one of the busiest roads in Nigeria recording a high number of passengers daily but not in a good shape. This has resulted in vehicle accidents daily leading to the loss of many lives and properties. In most cases, an accident occurs due to a high turnover of passengers on the road as it’s the only way linking the North Central with the North East.
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On the other hand, the majority of the people of the northeast are agrarians and herdsmen who are using the roads to convey their farm produce and cattle to the North Central, South South, South West and South East regions of the nation for market purposes.
This is to say, dualizing the roads linking the North East with the North Central will stimulate the nation’s agribusiness in many aspects and ease the transportation of passengers, and on the other hand, reduce the number of accidents on the road daily.
Now, the 48 months have exhausted and there is no hope for the project. Therefore, it is at this point that I want to call attention of the Buhari-led federal government to hurriedly come to the aid of the North East and complete the abandoned project in no time hence the need is to develop the nation.
Leaving the project that way will add to the predicaments of the people of the North entirely as the road is one of the busiest roads in the northern region and the country at large.
Joseline Kefas writes for the department of the Mass Communication University of Maiduguri