Niger: Gov Bello under fire as bridge linking Minna-Bida collapses again


Commuters travelling on the Minna-Bida road have lambasted the Niger State Government for the collapse of the bridge at Sabongida village for the third time on the 86 kilometers busy highway.

It would be recalled that the bridge first collapsed in the first week of September this year and was repaired by Niger state Road Maintenance Agency, NIGROMA, which collapsed five days after it was repaired.

The development, it was gathered, has forced commuters going to Bida from Minna to resort to travelling on bush path as an alternative route to Bida after linking Mange Vunla to Lemu, the headquarters of Gbako Local Government Area.

They claimed that the state government is using rehabilitation work on the bridge as a conduit pipe siphoning funds having carried out repairs on two occasions on the same bridge.

Some of the commercial drivers plying the road, one Mohammed Ndabida, described the frequent collapse of bridges along the road as disturbing.

According to him, “We expect the state government to do the needful on some portions on the road by reconstructing the bridges. It is a yearly phenomenon whenever the rain sets in, making it a conduit pipe.”

Josephine Ayo and Musa Suleiman, who were passengers traveling to Bida, told our correspondent that they have been subjected to unnecessary difficulties due to heavy downpour in the area.

They explained that travellers on both commercial and private vehicles going to Bida were left with no choice than to take an alternative road from Lemu the headquarters of Gbako LG to Bida, just as those heading to Minna presently follow Wushishi-Zungeru road to Minna.

“The journey is now twice the number of kilometers we are supposed to cover from Minna to Bida. We are begging the state government to come to our aid,” they pleaded.

However, efforts to reach the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Hon Mamma Lafiya failed as at the time of filing this report.

But sources from the ministry explained that the constant collapse of the bridges was due to the use of drums about 40 years ago by those that handled the road project then.

Recall that the initial contract for the construction road was awarded to Dantata & Sawoe in 2018 at over N20bn, but work started in 2019, after the ground breaking ceremony done by the state government for the take off of the project.

Three years after the groundbreaking ceremony, only about six kilometres out of the 89 kilometres road had been graded with only about four kilometres of asphalt laid.

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