President Buhari opens up Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch road to traffic, warns against misuse

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President Buhari opens up Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch road to traffic, warns against misuse

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday 29 December 2021, officially commissioned the completed 24-kilometre Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch road which connects several communities in Benue State to Cross River State in Tsua town, Vandeikya Local Government Area (LGA), of Benue State.

This is coming barely a week after the President, Represented by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who hailed from that part of the country, commissioned the Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road Section, i.e., phases I and II of the Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Kontagora-Makera Road which cuts across Sokoto, Kebbi, and Niger States, saying it was the beginning of a season of commissioning for all projects completed under his administration.

In a statement issued Monday evening by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH), Buhari, while commissioning the road, charged road users to be responsible in its use so that it could last for the duration of period it has been designed to stay, noting that the design on which the road was constructed was of the highest quality.

“This road has been built to the highest quality of design and workmanship and if is well used and not abused, it should last for the designed service life,” said the President.

Speaking on what constitutes road abuse, he listed them to include “overloading of  vehicles and trucks which accelerates pavement damage, spilling of petroleum products, which dissolves all the components and allows water to penetrate, and converting the road shoulders to permanent parking places that brings the onset of road failure from the shoulder.”

The President who was represented by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator (Dr) George Akume, enjoined Nigerians to avoid these practices that could aggravate the wear and tear on the roads, and also report persons found committing them to the appropriate enforcement agencies.

“We must all do our best to avoid these practices, report them when they occur and act in a lawful manner to stop them,” he stated.

Emphasising the importance of appropriate use of the highways, Buhari further reminded road users that the maximum driving speed on all Federal Highways in the country was 100kms.

According to the President, “the road is also a story of the capacity of our people. The Patriotic Nigerians who were employed directly to build this road, the scores of suppliers employed indirectly who are responsible for providing the machines utilised in the construction”.

Acknowledging their inputs, he noted, “they were not only nation builders to whom we offer our salutations, but they are also the heart of the Nigerian economy, the micro, small and medium enterprises that drive our economic growth.”

Buhari said, “The road is also a statement of economic efficiency and ease of doing business. This is because the travel time of averagely four hours before construction has now reduced to two hours since the completion of the road.”

Relating it to his administration’s commitment to ensuring change in all sectors of the nation, the president mentioned, “this road symbolises change as you will observe in the road furniture, such as the lane markings and Route Assurance signs,” which he said had to be restored so that road users can have a smooth and safe drive on the roads.

“These components had all but disappeared on our highways but our commitment to change has restored them, with the markings helping drivers to achieve better lane management and control of their vehicles; while the Route Assurance signs provide information about how much further or longer, the drivers and commuters have to travel and the distance to the next village, town or state,” explained the President.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr BabatundeFashola, said that the road projects across the nation, “represent a major investment in transport infrastructure which is a commitment of the Buhari’s administration as a driver for economic growth and prosperity.”

According to Fashola who was represented by the Director, Highway, North Central, Engineer Rugba Emenoge,  “They are visible and incontrovertible Assets in proof of what Nigeria’s resources are invested in, from a combination of our earned resources, and borrowings.”

Fashola, while acknowledging the impact of Sukkuk funding in the infrastructure development of the country, revealed that the fund was currently contributing to the progress of work on 44 roads across Nigeria and would be commissioned as they are completed.

Among those present at the event were the traditional rulers from Tsua and Obudu in Benue and Cross River States respectively, members of State and National Assembly who all expressed their gratitude to the Federal Government for initiating and completing several road intervention projects within the states, adding they have engendered a healthy relationship between the two.

President Buhari opens up Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch road to traffic, warns against misuse

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