Niger state denies closing Federal roads

Minna-Bida road, one of the state roads blocked by Niger State to heavy trucks

By Rita Iliya/Minna

Niger state government has denied reports that it closed Federal roads.It said it only restricted articulated trucks from plying state roads.

Alhaji Balarabe Ibrahim, Chairman, Infrastructure and Project Monitoring Committee and Chief of Staff to Gov. Abubakar Bello, said this during a news conference in Minna on Thursday.

He said that some news reports that the state government had closed down Federal roads were not true, as the state does not have the power to restrict movement of vehicles on such roads.

Ibrahim clarified that the state government only restricted movement of articulated vehicles on state owned-roads such as Minna-Bida-Zungeru, Wushishi-Lapai, Muye-Lapai and Paiko-Chanchaga bridge-Maikunkele roads.

“There is no going back on our decision to ban articulated trucks from plying the state-owned roads.

“We still stand on our position and we won’t relent on that. Our roads still remain closed to articulate trucks,” he said.

He said adequate sensitisation and engagement with relevant stakeholders were carried out before the roads were barricaded.

He added that motorists were given a two-week notice.

He noted that articulated vehicles were free to ply the Bida-Lapai-Lambata road and Mokwa-Tegina-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna road which were federal roads.

Abubakar Bello said that the decision to close down state owned roads was to allow contractors to speed up the reconstruction work.

He asked Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), threatening to cut off fuel distribution to the North due to the closure of the state owned-roads, to sort out their problems with the federal government.

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