President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday inaugurated the Gombe-Kaltungo road project and handed it over to Gombe State Government.
Speaking at the inauguration in Kumo, headquarters of Akko Local Government Area of the state, Buhari recalled that the contract was awarded in 2014.
Represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, the president said the length of the road was 66.10 km and the carriage way is 7.35 mtr while the shoulder was 2.73 mtr.
He said the project contract which was conceptualised around 2014, but the work did not commence until 2015.
‘’This was because after the commencement two major issues were discovered that caused the project to be delayed until they were sorted out.
“The first issue was, so many components were left and the second was VAT, hence the project reviewed,’’ he explained.
He said the project was supposed to be completed in 2019 but insufficient budgetary provision and release of fund as well as COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the present administration to complete it at the stipulated time.
The president advised the citizens of Gombe to take ownership of the project.
“Sometimes we have misconception that any infrastructure project is for government. We need to remind ourselves that you and I are the government, peoples remain while government come and go,’’ he said.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said this was the sixth of the second phase of road project completion and handover the country was witnessing.
Represented by Celestine Shausu, Director Highways, North East, Federal Ministry of Works, said the project represent major investment in road transport infrastructure which was a commitment of Buhari’s administration as a driver of economic growth and prosperity.
“They are visible and incontrovertible asset in proof of what Nigeria’s resources were invested in, from our earned and borrowings,’’ he said.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State said the road was inaugurated as a commitment and fulfillment of the president’s conditions and terms on which he engaged the people of Nigeria to provide the basic amenities they required.
“The people of Gombe are very happy because they can now ply this road from Gombe up to Yolde which is our boundary with Adamawa State without any problem.
“We will like to urge and plead with Mr. President for the timely completion of Numan to Jalingo road in Adamawa and Taraba States, which have been a nightmare to travelers,” the governor appealed. (NAN)