The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, on Monday, flagged off the construction of five major roads to open up the township of the state capital.
Works on the five roads, spanning over 10.2km, will cost the state government about N5 billion.
The projected amount is just about half of what the past government of the state allegedly spent on “burying dead persons” in one month.
Mr Mohammed, who vilified his predecessor for spending so much of the taxpayer’s money on such frivolous enterprise, said his administration would rather concentrate on projects that will make life meaningful to the people.
At an elaborate occasion, Mr Mohammed cut the tapes for the construction of the five roads which comprised two by-passes that were conceptualised since the creation of the state.
Mr. Mohammed described the five roads projects as a “historic development for the people of Bauchi.’
The new roads comprise Gombe-Maiduguri bypass; Laura – Jos road bye-pass; rehabilitation of Sultan Abubakar Road, and Yakubun Bauchi quarters road.
Mr Mohammed said the construction of Gombe-Maiduguri bypass will ease the usual heavy traffic from the city centre and reduce the travel time around the Bauchi metropolis.
“These bypasses were conceptualised since the creation of Bauchi State and it is planned to start from Gombe road and connect to Maiduguri road.
“These projects require compensation for landed properties and structures and covers a distance of about 4.4 kilometres. The bypass features 3 lanes 10.8 wide with shoulders of 4.5 meters each.
“The contract for the construction of this bye passes access road was awarded to Triacta Nigeria Limited at the total cost of N2,581,199,175. 19.”
The former minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said the other 6.2 km bye-pass will run from Miri village on Jos road and connect with Dass road by the ATBU. He said affected landed properties will also be compensated.
“It features three lanes of 10.8 wide and 1.5 meters in terms of shoulders. The contract of Sabon Kaura – Jos road is awarded to Messrs Habibu Engineering Nigeria Limited at the total cost of N2, 300, 230, 774. 99,” the governor explained.
The third component of the project, according to the governor is the Muda Lawal market dual carriageway road, a one-kilometre road of dual express which totals 2 kilometres.
The governor said all the flagged off projects and many others to come are part of the fulfilment of the promise that his administration will initiate and execute; programmes “that will touch the lives of the people of the state within 100 days.”
“Today’s ceremony is the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to give priority to urban centres in the provision of modern infrastructure that will be of benefit to the people. At the same time, we will open other communities in the rural areas where most of our people who voted us live in.
“We will not preempt those programmes but during the next 6 months, we will unveil these programmes and projects that everybody will be happy with.
“We will do that conscious of the need to have a cash flow and a timeline that will enable us to execute those projects within the envisaged time,” he assured.
Assurance to contractors
Mr Mohammed said all the contractors handling the road projects are competent and of “good track records” even as he promised never to default in paying them their dues.
“All the contractors are competent and confirmed to have excellently executed similar projects in the past and they are of good integrity and a track record for the development and growth of Bauchi, ” he said.
“But any contractor who gets a contract from the Bala administration will not go through the excruciating pains of having had to abandon the project because of payment.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Stephen Abubakar, said the road projects had been in the master plan of Bauchi for over 40 years; but nothing was done.
“By the construction of these bypasses, we are sure that it will enhance the movement of goods within the northern region, thereby reducing the travel time in this corridors,” he stated.