Petrol Tanker Explosion: Federal Roads in Kogi Are Death Traps, Bello Tells Fashola

*Kogi Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello (r) and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, when the former visited the latter in his office, Abuja,...Sept. 23
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By Abraham Olatokunbo
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Wednesday visited the  Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to solicit urgent Federal Government’s attention to the deplorable condition of federal roads in Kogi.
The governor’s visit came at the wake of a fatal road accident involving a tanker and other vehicles on the Okene/Lokoja/Abuja road that resulted in an explosion which claimed over 20 lives in the Felele area of Lokoja on Wednesday.
The governor told the minister that the deplorable state of all federal roads across the state have led to recurrent accidents in the state.
He said the state government has done a lot in maintaining the roads but owing to the large volume of traffic on the roads, in view of its strategic location as gateway state, such repairs and maintenance do not stand the test of time.
He appealed to the minister to expedite action in carrying out reconstruction of roads across the state to curtail the preventable accidents on the road.
The governor appealed to the minister to direct contractors handling repairs on the Murtala Bridge at Jamata to speed up the rate of work, noting that the slow pace of work has caused the commuters untold hardship.
Bello informed the minister that he had to personally be on ground on the Lokoja-Abuja road on July 26 to help other agencies to control the traffic gridlock caused on the Lokoja -Abuja road as a result of the damaged portion of the bridge.
He equally urged the minister to direct the contractors handling the Kabba-Ilorin road to return to site, noting that the total neglect of the road in the area has made life unbearable for motorists and commuters plying the road.
The governor also drew the attention of the minister to the Lokoja-Ganaja-Ajaokuta road which the federal government awarded for over three years but contractors were yet to be seen on site.
Responding, Fashola said he has directed the Federal Road Maintenance Agency to immediately move into action to fix bad portions of the road at the Felele end of the Okene/Lokoja/Abuja road.
The minister equally put calls across to contractors handling Kabba-Egbe-Omuaro road, Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road to inform them of the governor’s presence in his office and the need for them to speed up the works on the roads.
He assured the governor that the ministry will use the remaining part of the year to achieve more in fulfilling the governor’s request in respect of federal roads in the state.
Fashola commiserated with the governor, people and government of Kogi State over the accident that claimed lives on Wednesday in Lokoja.
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