Reps warn Dangote on gridlock, accidents

The House of Representatives on Thursday warned Dangote Group over what it called endless gridlock and road accidents on Kabah-Obajana-Lokoja-Abuja road.

Dangote truck

The Chairman, House Committee on Federal Road Safety Corps, Rep. Akinfolarin Mayowa-Samuel, gave the warning during a working visit of the committee to Dangote Cement Plant, Obajana in Kogi

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee members took turns to speak on issues surrounding environmental and construction laws, Community Social Responsibilities (CSR) and the safety of motorists and commuters.

“We believe Dangote can do more in the area of road construction and expansion, CSR and safety of the host communities as well as motorists and commuters plying this road, which is a gateway from northern part of the country to the southern part.

“You must look into the issue of environmental and construction law, which seems not to be well observed from the inception of this cement plant.

“As a big company, we are also of the belief that you can construct a flyover along the busy Zariagi/Obajana junction and a dual carriageway on the Zariagi-Obajana-Kabba road to ease traffic and reduce traffic gridlock and road crashes.

“The lives of innocent Nigerians being lost on this road due to road crashes is unacceptable and must stop through Dangote doing the needful,” he said.

Mayowa-Samuel noted that to some extent, Dangote has tried, but it can do more even the firm alone cannot fix Nigeria’s road infrastructure given the enormity of the challenges of road infrastructure in Nigeria

He said there must be a collaborative effort between the government and the private sector in the management of Nigerian roads.

The chairman, who bemoaned the traffic gridlock at Kabba Junction in Kogi, urged the company to increase its interventional scheme by easing traffic jams, more so that the Lokoja-Kabba road is central to the road network in the country.

He urged the company to support the government in the areas of road expansion and dualisation, saying that the government was grateful for all the interventions in the country.

In his response, Dangote Cement National Director of Logistics, Mr Carlos Juan-Rincon, said that the company would not rest on its oars in the areas of infrastructural development of the country.

Juan-Rincon said “even though it is the responsibility of the government to provide road infrastructure, the company will continue to lend a helping hand as exemplified by the construction of Nigeria’s longest concrete road in Kogi.”

He said that the road is being overstretched because other roads linking the northern and the southern parts of the country.

Spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Bisi Kazeem, commended the Dangote Group for making the visit of the lawmakers a success.

“For the fact that the committee has visited and there is a partnership between government and private sector shows Nigeria is working. I think we should give kudos to the Dangote Group,” he said.

Also speaking, the Bajana of Obajana, Oba Idowu Senibi, described Dangote as God’s chosen for his numerous interventions, adding that he could however do more to support the government in road construction and rehabilitation.

He suggested the construction of a bypass and crossover road to support the Dangote Cement vehicles and further help the flow of traffic.

Another traditional ruler in the area, the Olu Apata, Dr Frederick Balogun, expressed appreciation and pledged his community’s continuing support for the company to thrive given its vital role in the nation’s economic development.

Balogun, however, said his community has also embarked on community service to support the government and the company by patching the spoiled Gadabiu bridge on the Lokoja-Obajana road.

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