The roads in Lokoja township, the capital of Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, is littered with potholes and in a state of general disrepair despite the state government’s disbursement of billions of naira in 2017 and 2018 for road repairs and construction in the town.
A PREMIUM TIMES survey of major road networks in the town and suburbs revealed that many of the roads contain potholes and gullies.
For instance, a deep gully runs through the narrow dual carriageway between Ganaja Junction and Ganaja Village in Lokoja. The road, which also doubles as a linkage route between Abuja and Enugu, connects the southern and northern parts of the country through Lokoja.
Similarly, the so-called Otokiti Ganaja bypass multi-lane way, which was supposed to be a shorter route linking the Ganaja area of the town and the Otokiti part of the town is nothing but a single stretch of untarred road cutting through thicket of bushes.
There was no sign of the multi-lane road for which at least tens of millions of naira were confirmed to have been released.
Funds allocated, disbursed
In 2017, the Kogi State government allocated N2.2 billion for the “construction and rehabilitation” of Lokoja township roads in the budget of its Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development. However, only N444 million was disbursed.
Similarly, in 2018 the government allocated N600 million for the same project. The government refused to confirm the amount released in that year, despite several attempts made by this reporter for the information.
In 2017, the government budgeted N500 million for the construction of the Otokiti Ganaja Bypass but only N150 million was disbursed.
At the office of the Kogi maintenance agency, the agency’s Director of Admin & Finance, Fiki Yetunde, said details of the projects executed could not be released except directly from the office of the commissioner.
The government did not respond to written questions delivered at the office of the state commissioner for works.