Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, Chief of Staff to the Governor & Chairman, Infrastructure Committee

By Ibrahim Balarabe

As the nation marks its 21st Democracy Day of achievements and infrastructural development, the essence of government is to make life more meaningful and prosperous for the people. Thus, a government is not worth its salt, if it cannot meet up with the yearnings and aspirations of its citizens. In words, such government is undeserved to lead the people. 

Against the backdrop of the foregoing, it is important to weigh the performances of the present administration in Niger State led by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, haven spent five years in the saddle. 

It is incissive to note that the administration of Governor Bello came into office, at a time the economic fortune of the country was on a rapid decline, due to the fall in crude oil prices at the global market. On that basis, the government has continued to improvise, in its quest to deliver on the expectations of the people, through the provision of basic social amenities and quality infrastructures. 

As a people-centered and sensitive government, Governor Bello was mindful of the change mantra slogan that brought him to power. The crux of that slogan is to bring about positive social change and development hence improvement in the lives of the people. 

Within 100 days of his swearing-in, Governor Bello was able to record considerable achievements in areas of critical public needs.

One of the live wires of commerce is good roads. The Governor Sani Bello’s led government decided to prioritize the reconstruction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads within the state to boost economic activities. Some of the roads that received early attention were the reconstruction of Sabon Gari-UK Bello Arts Theater Road, which plays a crucial role in trade and commerce in the state. The same road had been neglected and left in deplorable condition over the years by previous administrations. 

Other roads which received urgent government attention is the Gwari Market, the second-largest market in the state capital, the famous Gwadabe Market is also located in the area as well as the PZ Cussons office and warehouse. The government went ahead to complete Kure Market-Old Airport-Kuta Road, started by the previous administration. 

On the ground of principle, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is not interested in the construction of gigantic monuments for the purpose of show; rather he is always keen on executing projects that have direct impact on the lives of the people. Little wonder that he embarks on projects and complete them without the usual razzmatazz of commissioning fun fair, where millions are also squandered on ceremonies. To Governor Bello, government is only performing its duty by executing projects. 

The completions of Tunga Round, handled by Julius Berger, the completion of GRA road in Bida are all pointers to what Governor Bello stands for, in terms of governance.

Other roads constructed and rehabilitated by the present government are the Limawa Road, Himma-Brighter Road, Bosso District Head Road, New York Road, Bosso opposite the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Fadipe-Gbeganu Road, and the completion of the Zungeru Township Road, the forgotten ancestral capital of colonial Nigeria.

As roads play vital roles in linkages and communications, there are several road projects ongoing which include; Minna-Bida Road. This road is critical to Niger State because when completed, it will serve as an avenue for revenue generation to the state, due its role as a major link for commuters plying from the Southwest of the country to Northern part, especially with the collapse of the Tegina-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road that has been bedevelled by the activities of men of the underworld.

Others under construction include, Garima-Tunga Lowcost Road, Morris Fertilizer-Union Bank Roundabout Road in Minna, Minna-Abattoir Road, Bosso Estate Road, Maitumbi neighbourhood roads and Tagwai Dam Road. All have reached various levels of completion.

Another crucial road under construction awarded to Triacta Nigeria Limited is the Shiroro Bridge-Erena Road in Shiroro local government area, where the town too will enjoy the construction of some roads, as at present all the hydraulic construction have been carried out, but the activities of bandits and kidnappers have slowed down work in the area, but with the renewed efforts by the government in curtailing the daredevils, work is expected to resume in full scale. The road meant to open the town to major markets as most inhabitants there are mostly farmers and traders.

History of Nigeria’s amalgamation is incomplete without the mentioning of Zungeru Town, the birthplace of prominent Nigerian nationalist like President Nnamdi Azikiwe, former Governor of old Eastern Nigeria, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the great writer Cyprian Ekwensi among others. 

Governor Sani Bello is addressing challenges facing the ancient town and its major township roads. While everything is being worked out to connect it to the national grid, as electrification project has reached 75 per cent completion. 

Kontagora has gotten a major facelift especially when it comes to roads; there has been massive road construction in the ancient town; of recent, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Engr. Ibrahim Panti disclosed that another six roads contract has been awarded in Kontagora to the tune of N300m, when completed will bring about total transformation of the town.

Suffices it to say that there are remarkable achievements attained and such largesse has continued in tangible and intangibles areas.

The emphasis of the present government is to ensure completion of ongoing projects before exiting in 2023. Therefore, the government is focused and determined not to the leave uncompleted projects littering the state come 2023, if this is achieved, it would be a roadmap to accelerated development in the state.

Indeed! Your feats remain indelible in our lifetime.


Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe is the Chief of Staff to the Governor & Chairman, Infrastructure Committee.