The Bauchi State government on Thursday called on the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to intervene in the reconstruction of the abandoned 82km Alkaleri – Futuk road, which connects the State with Gombe and Taraba States.
The call was made at Futuk in Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state by Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed after leading the NEDC management team, led by the MD/CEO, Dr Mohammad Goni Alkali, to inspect the road.
Governor Mohammed said the contract for the reconstruction of the road had earlier been awarded by the Federal Government at the cost of N32 billion but the contractors refused to mobilise to site due to their non-mobilisation by the government.
He said the state contacted the NEDC to intervene in the reconstruction of the road, knowing that it was part of its mandate.
“You can recall that Mr President announced that the road will be constructed when he came to inspect the ongoing oil exploration in the area but since then, we have not heard anything again.
“We then consulted the NEDC knowing that it is part of its mandate and I am glad to inform you that the NEDC team is here to help us reconstruct the road.
“In fact, the sum of N1.5billion has been approved to mobilise the contractors to site,” he said.
According to the Governor, the reconstruction of the road was very imperative, considering the fact that it would open the area to the outside world in view of the abundant mineral resources there, particularly oil and gas, which were discovered in commercial quantity in the area.
Addressing people of the area, the NEDC MD/CEO, Dr Alkali assured that the Commission would look into the request of the governor for the reconstruction of the 82km road which he said was a viable venture.
He informed that with the abundant mineral resources in the area, the Alkaleri-Futuk road met part of the NEDC criteria for its intervention in road construction.
In his words: “the Commission has its criteria before considering going into such road construction venture. Driving from Alkaleri to Futuk, I have discovered that the area is endowed with mineral resources and agricultural produce. It, therefore, qualified for the intervention of the Commission.
“I am here with some of the management team. We have seen the need and we will go back to present a position to Mr President for approval so that the project can commence.”