ABUJA – The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to declare an emergency on the Naka Makurdi-Aliade-Gboko and Aliade-Otukpo Federal Road Network and direct the Federal Road Maintenance Agency to immediately commence restorative work on that road axis, as a security and strategic economic imperative.
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure that adequate budgetary provision is made in the 2024 budget to comprehensively address the restoration of the deteriorating Naka-Makurdi-Aliade-Gboko and Aliade-Otukpo Federal Road Network, to restore the social and economic viability of the road network.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the “Need to Declare an Emergency on the Stretch of Naka-Makudi-Aliade-Gboko and Aliade–Otukpo Federal Road Network of Benue State”, brought by Hon. Austin Asema Achado (APC, Benue).
The Lawmaker noted that the role of the State in providing and maintaining adequate and unhindered federal roads, to encourage free movement of people, goods and services, not only for facilitating industrial interaction and linkages across the nation but essentially for ensuring the security of road users and the entire citizenry. This is why great emphasis is laid on the construction of federal roads to link the states of the Federation.
Achado stated that, the Naka-Makurdi-Aliade-Gboko and Aliade-Otukpo Federal Road Network constitute the major road axis linking the North East and the North Central regions of the nation to the South-South and the South East through Benue State, the food basket and agricultural belt of the nation.
According to him: “The condition of the federal road network has become an albatross and a huge embarrassment to the farming communities, other strategic users and commuters that transit goods through Benue State.
“Concerned that this strategic road axis has become so dilapidated that it is now tagged death-trap and security threat to all contiguous citizens that uses the road for transportation of grains and yams from Benue State to the Southern and Northern States of the Nation, not only reducing these commercial activities as a result of high rate of accidents on the road and loss of man hours, but drastically increasing activities of criminals, armed robbery and kidnapping, which have become more frequent
due to the poor condition of the road.
Also concerned that the acute neglect of the road network has been ignored for so long despite the havoc it wrecks on the nation’s food security, especially at this moment of increasing economic
pressure on the rural population, further fueled by the growing cost of transportation, arising from recent fuel subsidy removal, thus making it imperative to urgently address the menace of the Naka Makurdi-Aliade-Gboko and Aliade-Otukpo Federal Road Network.
The lawmakers noted that it was convinced that an emergency intervention to restore the Naka-Makurdi- Aliade-Gboko and AliadeOtukpo Federal Road Network, has both security and economic implications that should be immediately addressed.
Adopting the motion in the House, the Lawmakers, therefore, mandated the Committee on Works when constituted to ensure implementation.