About 24 communities across 5 major villages in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State, cutoff from Agricultural and other commercial activities will soon breathe a sigh of relief as the State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello says funds will soon be made available to complete a bridge that will link the affected communities with other parts of the state.
Governor Sani Bello stated this in Burum, a community in Izom District under Gurara Local Government Area, during an inspection tour to the project sites.
The Governor, who expressed concern over the delay in completing the project due to lack of funds, said the bridge construction will now cost the state government more than the initial contract sum.
He assured that funds will be made available this week for quick completion of the bridge before the rain starts, stressing that the bridge must be completed because it is Socio-Economically important to the livelihood of the people.
“It was supposed to be a 3 box culvert but you can see from the delay due to lack of payments. The river has expanded with 8 cells. If the project was completed on time I don’t think we will spend more than we budgeted for.
“Now it will cost us more than we initially planned, we must complete it this year because it is a priority project. The contractor is on-site and has assured me that, with the required funding, within the next 2 weeks there will be progress here”, he said.
The Governor while urging the people of the community to desist from artisanal mining, saying it causes insecurity, environmental and health hazards, advised that those who mine as a means of livelihood should follow proper and safer ways.
The Local Government Chairman, Yusuf Wali and Magajin Garin Ijah, Alhaji Musa Suleiman Ijah, in their separate remarks, said the people have been experiencing difficulty in movement, stressing that a lot of lives have been lost particularly during rainy seasons.
They appreciated the Governor for his determination to complete the project as it will ease the hardship of the people which has affected them both socially and economically.
The Contractor in charge of the bridge construction at Burum, Alh. Mohammed Ismaila Danbaba said the contract, which was earlier billed for over 30 Million Naira, has now been reviewed to over 48 Million Naira as a result of the high cost of materials to be used.
Alh. Danbaba explained that the project, which started in 2017, was a FADAMA project but Niger State Agricultural and Mechanization Development Agency (NAMDA) took over the project due to the directive given by the State Governor to increase the size of the project, assuring that with the availability of funds, the bridge will be completed in two weeks.
Earlier, the Governor inspected a five kilometre road rehabilitation at Kwamba, Suleja Local Government Area where he explained that, though the road is a Federal Road, Nigerlites are suffering on the road hence, the State Government decided to fix it to reduce difficulty faced by road users and for free flow of traffic.
The Contractor in charge of the project, Mr. Godwin Akoh said the 5km road rehabilitation commenced from Suleja Stadium to Maje Junction and would be completed soon.
The Governor also visited Gurara Waterfalls where he directed one of the officials supervising the waterfalls to compile and submit to him, a list of people around the communities that would serve as guards at the waterfalls to protect it against hunters and those engaging in illegal felling of trees.