President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents, Governor Bello said he was at the Villa to discuss with Buhari over the dilapidation of roads and the ravaging menace of flood in the state.
According to the governor, the poor state of federal roads had made life difficult for commuters and threatening to cut them off from the rest of the country.
He stated that the ravaging floods have destroyed 2,500 hectares of sugarcane plantations and ravaged 22 out of 25 local government areas of the state.
“This afternoon, I paid a visit to Mr President to extend my greetings and wishes for the Independence Anniversary and I also seized the opportunity to discuss some issues that affect Niger State especially the state of roads in Niger State,” Abubakar Bello said.
”At the moment, we are facing difficult times because the rains are quite heavy, most sections of the road have failed completely and there is need to have some quick intervention to ease the difficulties being experienced by motorists in highways.
“So I took time to brief Mr President on what is happening and what I think can be done in the interim to address some of these issues.
“You will recall that about two weeks ago we had a meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff with the Minister of Works, the GMD of the NNPC, the Director-General of Department of State Service and the Inspector General of Police with regard to the closure of Minna/Bida road.
“We were forced to close Mina/Bida road because the contractor on site had complained that the work in progress was very slow as a result of the heavy movement of trucks on that road. As you are aware that road was built for light vehicles, so we were forced to shut down Minna/Bida road.
“Eventually we had to open it so that we don’t create hardship to other parts of the country especially the Northern states. But at the moment as it today, we have two failed sections of Minna/Bida road and one failed section of Minna/Tekna road which has brought about the complete blockage of that road.
“So something needs to be done immediately to provide for an alternative route between South West and Northern parts of the states. We have a major trunk ‘A’ one road which is the Jabba-Mokwa-Kagara-Tegna-Pandogri-Kaduna road.
”I hope attention should be given to that road so that we divert most of the trailers to that road. There is also an alternative route which is the Mokwa-Bida-Lapai-Lambata road. That will also provide alternative to Minna-Bida road.
”So overall, that has been the main point of our discussion. We touched on flood briefly. I believe in the next few weeks, we may have some reliefs when it comes to flood.
”At the moment we have over 150 communities underwater in Niger State, thousands of hectares of land have been displaced by flood, major investments like the Sunti sugar is completely underwater. They have lost over 2,500 hectares of Sugar Cane Plantation. And the vast majority of the facility itself is underwater.
“It is unfortunate it has happened, but I pray we will be able to get some quick intervention from the Federal Government so that we can support our local farmers that have lost their livelihood due to floods.”