By Perpetua Onuegbu
Gurara (Niger state) – The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has ordered drivers of articulated vehicles and fleet owners to remove their vehicles from the shoulders of highways under construction.
Fashola gave the order on Monday in Lambata, Gurara Local Government Area of Niger state, while on a 2-day inspection tour of Highway projects in the state.
The minister pointed out that the vehicles, apart from impeding the works of the contractors to meet deadline, were also causing a lot of damage to the newly constructed roads.
“The oil emitting from the trucks is causing damage to the roads as oil and the binding agents on the road don’t go together.
“What is required is sensitisation of the public on the consequences of these actions; I believe no truck driver or fleet owner will deliberately destroy the roads, since a good road will also contribute to their prosperity.
“Therefore, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders, especially the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), to create proper parking areas for their fleets,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Felix Ume, Federal Controller of Works, Niger state, gave an update on the status of the roads and work done.
Ume decried the indiscriminate way truck drivers park on both sides of the road and spill oil on the road.
Mr Yusuf Waili, Chairman of Gurara Local Government, assured the minister that the local council had made packing spaces available for the articulated vehicles to relocate immediately.
The projects include the dualisation of Suleja-Minna Road, Phase I and II, Reconstruction of Bida Lapai-Lambata road and Agaie-Katcha Barrow road.
Other are the dualisation of Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Junction road in Kwara and Niger state.
The minister has so far inspected the Suleja-Minna, Bida-Lampai-Lambata, and Agaie – Barro roads.