The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to embark on the reconstruction of the Warri-Sapele-Benin and Sapele-Agbor roads, while also urging the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to deploy more men to the roads to protect citizens from being attacked.
The House made the call at the plenary on Tuesday following the unanimous adoption of a motion jointly moved by two members, Ben Igbakpa, and Anthony Afe, titled, ‘Need to Reconstruct Warri-Sapele-Benin and Sapele-Amukpe to Agbor roads in Delta State.’
In the motion presented by Igbakpa, the lawmakers noted that the importance of road infrastructure in socio-economic development could not be over-emphasised, thereby reiterating the need to reconstruct the “parlous” Warri-Sapele-Benin and Sapele-Amukpe- Agbor roads that serve Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states, with other South-South states in particular and Nigeria in general.
According to the lawmakers, the major road of about 104.5km distance was constructed 27 years ago and is the most preferred route for articulated vehicles used for oil and gas haulage operating from Delta State to other parts of Nigeria.
They pointed out that “similar roads in the country that are not as important as the Warri-Sapele-Benin and Sapele-Amukpe to Agbor roads constructed within the same period had undergone rehabilitation, while Warri-Sapele-Benin and Sapele-Amukpe-Agbor roads, through which the country derives its source of wealth, and are left in a total state of disrepair.”
The motion read in part, “The House is disturbed by the suffering of the people plying the road, and the cries of loss of man-hour as a journey of one hour now take about eight hours due to the deplorable state of the road; thus paralysing the socio-economic activities in the zone. The road is a federal road and the governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has expended billions of naira to fix some affected portions of the road, but with the recent pronouncement by the Federal Government that directed states to stop intervening on federal roads has made the state to hands off from road repairs, thus leaving the road in total disrepair.
“The House is worried that criminals have taken advantage of the deplorable state of the road to rob, kill and kidnap road users and motorists along the highways.”