Some commuters and road users residing in Abuja and its environs have commended the level of works done on some major highways as they travelled during the recent festive season.
Most of those who spoke to Daily Trust said they could see some works on the major roads especially those connecting the south with the north but urged the federal government to speed up works on bad roads.
Mr Henry Dogbo, a resident of Karu in Abuja said he travelled to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital and observed preparatory repairs works on the Abuja to Lokoja expressway.
He said: “Before the Christmas time, I saw them marking the various bad portions of the Abuja to Lokoja highway. It showed they really wanted to fix them. While I returned some of those places especially around Gwagwalada town in Abuja were being fixed.”
For Mr Osagie Momoh, who resides in Kubwa and often plies the Lokoja to Benin expressway, his story was mild too. He said: “I saw men of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) fixing bad portions around Okene. But several sections are still in deplorable state.
“The ongoing dualisation works from Auchi through Iyamo and to Okpella in Edo state has really reduced the traffic congestion and the death trap those places used to be but we hope they will speed up the work,” Momoh urged the federal government.
Our reporter observed that the Abuja to Keffi Expressway was also marked before the Christmas holiday but no major work was done until late December and last week when FERMA began major repairs of the many bad portions.
Abdullahi Musa, a driver on the route from Nyanya in Abuja confirmed this saying: “They are busy working on those bad portions which they marked earlier. The work is done at evening thus causing traffic but we hope they will do it well.”
Mrs Helen Onu decried the congestion commuters encounter on the Nyanya axis of the Abuja to Keffi Expressway due to the ongoing construction of two pedestrian bridges in the area.
“We are excited about the projects because it will reduce accidents that occur because of people trying to cross the road. It has however caused heavy gridlock but soldiers are helping to manage the situation now,” she said.
For the Abuja to Minna expressway, John Garba said he observed bad portions were being fixed shortly before the Christmas break especially after the Lambatta axis.
“If you follow that road, you will notice the work at the Suleja depot, bad portions have been fixed. There is a part where the Sukuk fund was used for the dualisation and then after Lambatta, bad portions were filled and tarred,” he noted.
There were also confirmations of ongoing works by Julius Berger at Suleja in Niger state, and Dakasalle axis in Kano on the Abuja to Kano expressway.
Some road users also commended the government for the Enugu to Makurdi road as they said several sections have been reconstructed and patched.
According to Francis Ogbu, who spoke of Otukpo to Ugbokolo axis of the road, “That section used to be a death trap but using Chinese construction firm, they have worked on it.”
There was also tale to tell on the Lagos to Ibadan expressway where places near Ibadan have been patched temporarily as works continue, Femi Ojo, a commercial driver in Abuja observed.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola had in November said those in charge of roads in his ministry were instructed to be on ground during the yuletide to patch critical areas to improve safety of the roads to ease the heavy movement.