Economic activities in Funtua, a commercial hub in Katsina State are being slowed down by the deplorable condition of roads in the town. The roads in the town have gradually degenerated for decades despite the funding running into tens of millions of naira budgeted for road rehabilitation.
In 2017, the state government spent N45 million on the dualisation of the Funtua township road. Though the road was constructed the quality of the road left much to be desired. Two years later the road is filled with potholes and gullies caused by erosion.
Residents who spoke to UDEME said the state of the Funtua township road has led to an increase in the cost of transportation.
“Although we used to have some good roads before, currently our roads are extremely disfiguring our reputation, to be able to get places in Funtua the motorcyclist may charge N150 to N200 and it was not like that before,” says Kadijah Umar, an inhabitant of Funtua running a shop business by the roadside.
Dandume – Damari – Kaya Road
Between 2018 and 2020 over N 1 billion has been budgeted to fix the road connecting Dandume and Kaya but the road is still in a state of abandonment,
At Sabua village, shortly after Kaya village, the road has been washed by gully erosion. Vehicles with heavy load ride through the ditch to navigate the bad portion. The state of the road has also attracted criminals who willingly abduct passengers for ransom or rob them of their belongings.
“We normally experience an incident of kidnapping and banditry here along this road, such is not new to us again in July it happened and till now we can’t say that we can identify the actual perpetrators.
“While travelling along this road one must watchful for the kind of commercial vehicle one’s board and must be very careful when the journey is embarked on along this road. Says Auwal Sodiq, chairman of the Road Worker Association in Dandume to Damari garage.
Road users told UDUME the road has been in that state for several years.
“I can tell you boldly there is no rehabilitation on the road since 2015 that Masari became the governor,” says Anas Abubakar, a farmer cultivating farm by the roadside in Damari.
Bakori – Kafur Road
Despite the fact that the road links with the road that leads to Zaria in Kaduna state from Katsina state. At the Bakori end of the road, the road was smooth for about 6 kilometres then it suddenly transformed into a collection of potholes. Near the Tsiga town, the road was almost completely washed away by erosion.
One inhabitant of Tsiga town told UDEME that, the road has been in its current dilapidated condition for more than seven years.
“The road has been like this close to 8 years, I remember very well it was governor Shema that filled up to some points in 2013,” says by Musa Aminu, a farmer in Tsiga town.
In 2018, the Katsina state ministry of works and housing approved the sum of N178, 000,000 for the construction of Bakori – Tsiga – Kafur- Road. In 2019 Additional allocation was created for the project in the year’s budget at N800, 000, 000. This put the figure at N1.9 billion.
Bakori – Bilbis road
Between 2017 and 2019 the Katsina state government budgeted over N2.4 billion for the construction of the Bakori- Bilbis road. But the road was no better than a clear footpath, which no sign of rehabilitation. The road stretches through some residential communities in Yan Kwani village before it leading to Yan Kwani to Daudawa road. The 45km road is unpolished with red earth. From Bakori to Yan Kwani UDEME observed that the road was too tiny for the passage of two vehicles to coming from the opposite side at the same time.
Inhabitants of Yan Kwani village told UDEME that the lack of good road in the community has stalled development.
“Ever since I have been in this village I have not seen any convenient road that leads to Tafoki from Yan Kwani, development is far away from us, that we have to travel to Bakori to buy needed stuff. Here, no bank, no market, and we are still struggling with good water to drink. Government to us is like an angel of promise and fail” says Bashir Kala, a farmer in Yan Kwani village.
From Yan Kwani to Tafoki, an unpolished road of about 25km with a collection of potholes, earth dots made worse by rainfall and erosion. At some point along the roadway,
One inhabitant of Tafoki lamented said the road was dangerous and insecure. “From here to Daudawa, I must be sincere with you the road is like this till Daudawa untied and it is very dangerous to pass here alone due to the insecurity of the state,” says Yunisa Ibrahim.
The section from Daudawa town to Bilbis town was no different from the other parts of the road.
“Our topmost problems are bad road”
The Director of Works, Katsina State Transport Authority (KSTA), Mr Ladan Yusuf, in an interview with UDEME, stated that two of their topmost challenges are bad roads and insecurity, he added that the agency stopped night travelling due to serial occurrence of banditry and kidnapping across the state.
He, however, told this reporter that the problem of bad roads is not exclusive to Katsina state, he described it as a national threat that hindered the development of the nation.
“Our topmost problems are bad road and insecurity problem, the government knows about it and they are trying their best to curb it, just that it only takes time and procedure.
“Bad roads are everywhere in the parts of the country, our function as a government agency is to transport people from one place to another peacefully without any strength.
“One of our transport vehicles had an accident yesterday on a federal road, one of our staff and four passengers are currently in the hospital. This same road that we have written several letters to the lawmaker representing the district at the national assembly.
We do not respond to questions from the media – ministry
When reached for comments, the Katsina State Ministry of Works and Housing the personal assistant to the commissioner failed to accept a letter with questions meant for the commissioner. The personal assistant said the ministry does not respond to media request or questions without approval from the governor’s office.
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