A former member of the House of Representatives and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Hon Sunday Karimi on Monday raised the alarm over the deplorable condition of the roads network of Lokoja-Okene, Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba axis of Kogi State
In a statement made available to news men in Abuja, the two-term lawmaker who pointed out that the sessions of the roads had now became a nightmare to motorists plying the roads to other parts of the country urged the Federal Government to concession the roads with an immediate effect for proper reconstruction and maintenance.
Hon Karimi, who represented Yagba Federal Constituency of Kogi State in 7th and 8th Assembly respectfully said that the appeal became necessary haviing experienced about seven hours stocked on a spot along the Lokoja Kabba Road last week.
He explained that commuters had at one time faced this same type of untold hardship untill the Lokoja Obajana end of the road was concessioned and given to Dangote Group for repairs by the Federal Government
Consequently, the law maker madam passionate appeal to the Federal Government to consider the viable option of conssession of the affected roads to the Dangote Groups for proper rescruction and maintenance
He noted that the Obajana-Kabba Road was sometimes ago constructed and repaired under a concession (import duty waiver) arrangement by the Federal Government and awarded to the same Dangote Groups.
Hon Karimi who said that it was such arrangement by the Federal Government that brought relief to commuters plying the lokoja-Obaiana road advocated for such an arrangement for Lokoia Okene, LokoiaObaiana Kabba, lamented that the hardship on commuters was now unbearable.
He called on the Federal Government to rethink the same arrangement to concession and repair the failed road by Dangote Groups insisting that the hardship faced by travellers through Kogi State was better imagined in their sufferings due to delapidated roads.
Hon. Karimi disclosed that on a daily basis, over a thousand trailers attempt entring into the multi-billion naira cement factory in a bit to load Cement, thus causing heavy traffic along Lokoia Kabba Road, consequently leading to total lockdown at Lokoja-OkeneObaiana Iunction, thereby causing healty, public nuisance and untold hardship to the people.
According to him, “travellers to the East, South-South, West and even to the Northern part of Nigeria who make use of the roads, are now faced with spending quality man-hour on the road, which usually lead to total lock down on a daily basis that stretches into hours and sometimes a whole day, the Federal Government needs to do something urgently
” On the average and from my personal experience, travellers now spend between seven hours on the road for a journey not more than an hour due to the embarrassing traffic caused by heavy duty trucks packed on the Lokoia Kabba road in a bid to conduct their haulage business and at the detriment of the generality of the public who are greatly inconvenienced”.
While he acknowledged that no one was disputing the immense benefit of the multibillion naira Cement factory to Kogi State and Nigeria, Hon. Karimi however said it was important that the Management of the Factory, immediately take steps to amiolerate the sufferings of the people
He equally suggested that the management of the Dangote Cement Factory should consider it a Social Responsibility to the people to urgently come up with a stop-gap, by putting in place an arrangement that would ameliorate the sufferings of people on that road, whilst the Federal Government considers another concessional arrangement to include the construction of a fly-overbridge at Obajana junction and also the Kabba-Ilorin end of the road which is now in a very deplorable state as a result of years of neglect and contineous use by the heavy-duty trucks.