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Residents appeal to Wike for completion of Apo-Karshi Road

Abuja residents have appealed to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to complete the Apo-Karshi Road, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.…

Abuja residents have appealed to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to complete the Apo-Karshi Road, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.

 

Road network is a crucial incontrovertible infrastructure for the socio-economic and agricultural development of a nation, providing unhindered access to places of opportunities and services.

In many of the developed countries, transportation plays a significant role in the ease of doing business and the government plays an integral role in the implementation and administration.

Analysts note that roads, being the primary mode of transportation, therefore, ought to be the most important of all public assets.

A recent trip by our correspondent to the Apo-Karshi Road project site revealed that it had been abandoned.

The road leading to Karshi from Apo roundabout is well paved down to Waru, Wassa, Madalla and Chorin communities, but the moment one leaves Chorin, the uncompleted road begins.

In 2011, the then FCT minister who is now the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, awarded the contract for the 13.25-kilometer Apo-Karshi Road project to Kakatar Limited, an indigenous company, with a completion period of 20 months.

As at the time it was awarded, the contract sum was put at N6.4bn, and signed as a flagship project to open up an alternative route out of a troubling traffic nightmare experienced daily on the Abuja-Nasarawa Road. However, 13 years later, the project has yet to be completed.

Thousands of people who reside in Karshi, Orozo, Gidan Mangoro, Kurudu, Waru, Madalla, Wassa, Kyami, Takushara, Chorin and other communities, would be direct beneficiaries of the road project.

Commuters, who come into Abuja from the neighbouring Nasarawa State on daily basis, face excruciating pains, caused by the traffic gridlock on the AYA-Nyanya -Mararaba Expressway.

Daily Trust on Sunday’s  check showed that a great percentage of workers in Abuja live in the satellite towns and border communities in Nasarawa State.

Therefore, the Karshi-Apo Road completion was eagerly anticipated by commuters who had wished for a route with free vehicle movement.

In separate chats with Daily Trust on Sunday, residents said the contractor handling the project should be mobilised back on site for the completion.

Hussaini Adamu, a resident of Apo, said Wike should consider the plight of commuters by completing it this time around.

Adamu, who is an indigene of Nasarawa State, said when completed, the road would ease his movement to and from his village in Toto LGA.

“In 2014, I came to the Apo axis of the city, with firm assurance from the government that the road is a priority contract that will be completed soon. We are in the beginning of 2024 with a new government and the road is still not completed. Minister Wike should please kindly do something. We are already seeing his work on road constructions,” he said.

A timber dealer at Kugbo, Benson Ikechukwu, told our correspondent that the congestion on the AYA-Nyanya -Mararaba Expressway, had led to many mishaps on the road which has caused many deaths and loss of properties.

“For some years now, accidents on this axis have always been fatal especially during the rush hour. The accidents should be enough reason for the government to complete this alternative road. The vehicular congestion on this road can make someone go mental,” he said.

A civil engineer, Murtala Gbadegbo, said the only way to address the congestion on the Nyanya road is the construction of an alternative one.

He noted that every new administration, since the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan, had been promising to complete the road.

Gbadegbo said: “The President Bola Tinubu-led administration through Minister Wike should take the bull by the horn and complete the Apo-Karshi Road.

“The Masterplan of Abuja did not envisage this large population following the same route (AYA-Nyanya-Mararaba Expressway), at the same time. Civil servants and other residents follow this same road when going and coming back from work.

“This is also a means of ensuring a good working environment for workers. Before the government moves its offices away from the city centre to other area councils, the Apo-Karshi Road must be completed. In my opinion, the road should even be made a dual carriage way in order to address future expansions in the territory.”

Ezra Chukwu, a mechanic in Apo, said the delay in finishing the road had posed a serious setback to many of his clients in Karshi as they now have to use a longer route to come to fix their vehicles.

Chukwu said: “It is worrisome that the FCT Administration has continued to subject people to avoidable stress just because of lack of the political will to complete the road between Apo and Karshi for the past 13 years despite huge budgets reeled out yearly by the federal government.”

Yusuf Ibrahim, an Islamic teacher, who lives in Karshi axis, said: “It is inhuman to leave a vital road that is less than 14 kilometres under construction for 13 years with the authorities concerned not bothered by the plight of the commuters. What the FCTA have done is borne out of a lack of concern for the people who are living around the affected route and are suffering daily as a result of the non-completion of the project.”

The FCT Minister had promised that his administration would pay attention to the completion of the road in order to decongest the ever-busy Abuja-Nyanya Road.

The minister, who spoke when he was inspecting some rural roads projects across the six area councils, urged residents to support the administration’s efforts to open up the rural communities in the FCT.

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