Niger State Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago says his administration will construct about 1,500 kilometres of roads in the next four years.
The governor stated this at the flag-off of the rehabilitation and construction of 202km of Minna township roads.
The governor said the road projects were part of his aggressive urban renewal policy that would bring significant transformation to the state.
He observed that the state has a good number of federal roads spread across the state, and his administration will fix them and seek a refund from the federal government.
The governor charged the youth to take advantage of the road projects to gainfully engage themselves as materials and human capital will be sourced locally.
He added that the government, through the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, will come up with an empowerment scheme for those that will trade around the construction sites.
Earlier, the commissioner for works and infrastructure, Suleiman Umar, disclosed that the project, which has a total of 202.4 km, consists of 22 different roads.
He said this was in addition to five interchanges and flyovers at strategic locations that will open up the state capital.
While describing the project as one of the most ambitious urban development projects in the history of the state, the commissioner reiterated that the ministry will provide the needed monitoring and supervisory functions to ensure timely completion of the projects.
The Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Mr. David Wang, commended the resilience of the governor and described him as an ambitious man who was focused on changing the face of Niger State through massive infrastructural development.
Mr. Wang promised to collaborate with relevant stakeholders and ensure harmonious relationships with the locals for timely and qualitative projects.
Also, the Emir of Minna, HRH. Alh. Umar Faruk Bahago, applauded the governor for his giant stride, especially in the urban renewal programme, and pledged the continued support of the emirate council to the government.
At the completion of the township roads, the size of Minna, the state capital, would have been expanded to 100 sq km.
The National President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Prince Yemisi Adeaga, has commiserated with the Chairman and people of Mokwa Local Government Council in Niger State over the recent boat mishap that claimed many lives and property.
The National President, who spoke through the Niger State Branch Chairman, Alhaji Hamisu Musa Jankaro, when he led the other Governing Board and management of the branch on the visit at the council secretariat, said they were in Mokwa to share the moment of grief with the chairman and the entire people of Mokwa over the tragic incident.
He said the Red Cross deemed it fit to sympathise with them and prayed to God to avert future occurrences of the incident.
Prince Yemisi Adeaga informed the council chairman that the Red Cross Society was a humanitarian organisation that assisted the people to ameliorate their suffering in cases of natural disasters.
The Red Cross National President appealed to the council Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Jibrin Muregi, to synergize with the community and vigilantes with a view to checking the unnecessary overloading of passengers on a boat.
Also in his remarks during the visit, the state branch secretary of the Red Cross, Mr. Gideon Adamu Paiko, urged the people of Mokwa to take the incident as an act of God, prayed to God to forgive and grant those who lost their lives eternal rest, and prayed for the quick recovery of those injured.
Mr. Gideon Adamu Paiko stated that the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon has released excessive water and advised riverine communities to take precautionary measures to avoid losing lives and property.
Also speaking during the visit, the State Health Adviser of the Red Cross, Dr. Yahaya Madaki, warned the people of the area that, henceforth, life jackets should be worn by all passengers travelling on canoes or boats to guard against the loss of lives and property.
Responding, the council chairman, who was represented by the council vice chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Kimbokun, expressed appreciation to the National President of the Nigerian Red Cross, Prince Yemisi Adeaga, and his team for the visit and prayed to God to reward them abundantly.
It will be recalled that about 30 people were reported to have lost their lives when a canoe capsized in the Gbajibo River between Jabba and Kainji Dams in Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State.
The victims of the boat mishap, who were mostly women, including pregnant women from Gbajibo, Ekwa, and Yankyade communities, were said to be going to their farms at Gidan Mangoro when the incident occurred.
Over 100 people were said to be on board the ill-fated boat when the incident occurred.