The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing says free flow of traffic on the Kabba-Omuo-Ekiti road will soon be restored as rehabilitation work on failed sections of the road has begun.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that three portions of the road were on Sunday damaged as a result of effects of torrential downpour, causing auto crashes and heavy gridlock on the ever busy highway.
The Federal Controller of Works in Kogi, Mr Jimoh Kajogbola, disclosed this while monitoring the extent of dilapidation and progress of work on the road at Ikoyi in Iyara, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi.
Kajogbola said that Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) sent him down to expedite rehabilitation work on the road and ensure restoration of normal traffic flow as soon as possible.
The Kabba-Omuo-Ekiti road, he said, was cut in three places on Sept. 5 and the attention of the ministry was drawn to it.
“We immediately moved in with the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), the Local Government and the local people.
“Our effort is yielding some success as vehicles are now moving though at very slow pace now.
”The work is aimed at addressing the hardship being faced by motorists as a result of the failed portions of the road.
Kajogbola attributed the heavy traffic on the collapsed Kabba-Omuo-Ekiti road to the failure of the Okene-Ibilo road damaged recently, saying that when that one got bad, the traffic was diverted to Kabba-Ayere-Isua road which also failed.
“Now all the traffic going to South-West, part of South-South and part of Kwara are now using this road as you can see. I want to appeal to Nigerians to be patient while moving on this road.
“When we are too much in a hurry, we block the incoming traffic and everything will be gridlocked, nobody will be able to move again”, he said.
The Controller however, appealed to heavy duty vehicle operators to guard against overloading of their trucks to avoid overstretching and help the lifespan of the roads.
“We have problems of loading of vehicles. For a road designed for 30 tons, they are carrying 45, 60, 75 and even 90 tons.
“There is no way the road will not be stretched beyond its elastic limits. Once it is over stretched, it fails and once it fails there’s no other way than to reconstruct it.
“The government is making efforts to check overloading by introducing the waybill system but since that one is not yet in place, we should check ourselves.”
Kajogbola also appealed to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to make available, a standby towing vehicle to quickly remove broken down vehicles causing obstructions on the road while the work lasts.
On the activities of some of the community members, he said, “I have called Kilani Olumo, member representing Ijumu state constituency at the House of Assembly to help us appeal to his people to leave the place for our workers only.
“This is not an avenue for extorting money. It is to get the road repaired and get the vehicles moving”. (NAN)