Yobe Faults Ngama On Gashu'a-Yusufari Road
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, January 05, (THEWILL) - The Yobe State Government, weekend, faulted the Minister of State for Finance, Dr.
Yerima Ngama, on the 31-kilometre Gashu'a-Yusufari road, maintaining that the road is being constructed by the state and not the Federal Government.
A statement issued in Damaturu, the state capital, by Abdullahi Bego, the Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, said: "The attention of this office has been drawn to a stunningly false claim by the Minister of State for Finance, Dr.
Yerima Ngama that the Federal Government is the entity currently building the 31-kilometre Gashu'a-Yusufari road.
The Minister of State made the claim during broadcast on the 9-10pm segment of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) network news on Thursday, 2nd January 2014.
"Coming from a politician desperate to explain away the troubling lack of federal presence in Yobe State and much of the Northeast, the minister's claim, though unbelievable, is understandable.
" According to the statement, "This is not the first time that he would try to show that the PDP-led Federal Government is doing more than enough for the people of the region at a time that all the evidence points to the contrary.
"In wrongly claiming credit for the Gashu'a-Yusufari road, however, the minister is clearly exercising selective amnesia.
It is either he's chosen to forget the historical background of the road or he has not consulted with the relevant officials at the Federal Ministry of Works before making his claim.
"For the avoidance of doubt, the Gashu'a-Yusufari road currently under construction is being built by the Gaidam-led Yobe State Government.
"The road was first awarded for construction by the Federal Government in 2000.
Four years later, by 2004, only a few culverts and first-coat surface dressing of just three kilometres was done.
"After a series of communications - and frustration with the dismal pace of work by the contractor on the part of the people of the state - the federal government terminated the contract and handed over the road to the state government.
"Although hugely important and strategic not just to linking northern Yobe with the rest of the state but also as one of the gateways to the Republic of Niger, the state government would only turn its attention to the Gashu'a-Yusufari road in December 2011.
" The statement noted further: "Back in the hustings for the 2011 general elections eight months earlier, the people of Yusufari Local Government Area had particularly appealed to Governor Gaidam to help them build the road, and the governor promised action soon after the election.
"Through a resolution of the State Executive Council, the Yobe State Government awarded contract for the complete construction of the road with stone-base and asphalt overlay at the cost of N3.
86 billion to EEC Nig.
Work is now at 65 percent stage of progress.
"This is not the only federal road that the Yobe State Government has either built or is rebuilding.
The Gaidam administration has since rebuilt the 109-kilometer Kaliyari-Bayamari-Gaidam road.
The Gaidam administration is only a few kilometers away from completing the reconstruction of the 155-kilometer Potiskum-Jakusko-Garin Alkali road.
And the Gaidam administration has just awarded contract for the construction of the 77-kilometer Damaturu-Gujba-Buni-Yadi-Magza road.
"All these roads are vital to the economic wellbeing of the people of Yobe State.
Governor Gaidam is strongly invested in the idea that rebuilding them with the resources of the state, since the federal government would not or might not salvage them on its own, is an investment worth making.
" The Yobe State Government however said it welcomes and is committed to every possible partnership with the Federal Government.
"In the task of improving the people's living conditions, the federal, state and local governments can - and do - reinforce each other.
But a desperate attempt, such as the one by the minister of state for finance, to try to ram down people's throats that the FG has done something it actually has not done is low, cheap, un-statesmanlike, unfortunate and counterproductive," the statement said.