From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
In an effort to open up the rural areas, the 25 local councils in Niger state said they were committed to delivering 250 kilometres road projects in the their local government areas.
The state Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Isah Liman Kantigi, who made this known in Minna yesterday, said the local councils will complete the road projects they commenced across the 25 local government areas.
Kantigi said contractors have already been mobilised and are on site working to meet the December deadline.
The commissioner said each of the local government chairmen after consultation with their people identified the road to be constructed.
He said the 25 local councils have already disbursed N12 billion to the contractors.
He admitted that the project which ought to have been completed was delayed by contractors, alleging that some of the contractors had abandoned their sites.
He however said that erring contractors have been call to order and have since returned to site.
On the allegation by the opposition that the state Governor Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu was misappropriating local government funds, the commissioner debunked the allegation, insisting that the governor never interfered in the way funds are disbursed to councils.
“It is a capital lie. Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has never interfered with the local government funds or neither has he dictated to council chairmen what project to embark on. What happen is that any project you see going on in the local government areas is a joint decision of all chairmen and I used to be one of them before I was made the commissioner for local government”, he said.
He also refuted the report which quoted him as saying that the 10 kilometres road project in each of the 25 local government areas initiated in 2009 was a failure; rather he said work was in progress and that the ministry will now monitor closely to ensure that the roads are delivered latest by December.