BusinessDay

Reps ask FG to include construction of Benue-Taraba road in 2021 supplementary budget

The House of Representatives has urged the federal ministry of works and housing to make provision for the reconstruction of the Katsina–ala–abaji–tordonga– Harga axis of Benue-Taraba road in the 2021 supplementary budget proposal.

It also urged the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, to provide relief materials for the displaced populations in communities along the road and ensure they return to their homes.

The Reps further mandated its committees on works, appropriation and women affairs and social development to follow up on the above directives to ensure they are complied with.

The resolutions were arrived at during a plenary on Tuesday upon the adoption of a motion titled: “Need to reconstruct the Katsina–ala– Abaji–Tordonga–Harga–Gawa– Takum road, sponsored by Richard Gbande (PDP, Benue).

Presenting the motion, Gbande noted that the Katsina-Ala-Abaji -Tordonga-hargaGawa-takum road was a Trunk ‘A’ road cutting across major towns in Benue into Taraba State, and was first constructed in the early 1980s during the administration of President Shehu Shagari.

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He pointed out that the road remains the only route through Katsia-ala and Takum axis, covering a major farming population of Taraba and Benue States in Katsina–ala, Ukum, Takum, Donga and Ussa local government areas across the two states.

The lawmaker said he was also aware that the Gawa–takum section of the road covering about 16km along the Taraba axis was rehabilitated by the federal ministry of works in 2015, leaving out the 53km Harga-tordonga-abaji–katsina–ala axis in Benue State.

“We concerned that the partial rehabilitation of the road has not brought relief because commuters go through a lot of difficulty on the longer 53km section which is in a state of total disrepair.

“We are also concerned that the road, which was constructed in the early 1980s and never rehabilitated, has now collapsed and most parts nearly impassable. Due to the dilapidated condition of the road, criminal elements have taken advantage to unleash mayhem on the inhabitants of the surrounding areas and unsuspecting commuters.”

The lawmaker pointed out that as a result of the prolonged activities of criminals in the area, farmers in Harga, Tor Donga, Sai, Abaji and Katsina–ala have been displaced as their farms have been taken over by bandits.

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