Plateau Governor flags off ‘Operation Zero Potholes’ 

Omolola Bello, Jos

The Plateau State Government in North Central Nigeria,  has flagged off ‘Operation Zero Potholes’ within the Jos and Bukuru metropolis of the State.
Speaking at the flag off Ceremony, Governor Simon Lalong said that the  rehabilitation of township roads was part of the infrastructural development of Plateau State in line with one of the three-point policy thrust.
 “Since one of our 3 –point Policy Thrust is Physical Infrastructural Development, we don’t intend to only build infrastructure in the State, but shall continue working hard to maintain them. 
We cannot afford to let these road infrastructure decay to the point that they become a burden and threat to lives of our people. Henceforth, we will make sure we arrest any road deterioration early in order to sustain the lifespan of our roads and other infrastructure.”
Governor Lalong added that while some of the roads have been completed and commissioned, others are still ongoing at speed that is not acceptable considering the resources ingested into it by the government.
“By now, the citizens of our State and even visitors will attest to our commitment as a Rescue Administration to providing good roads which is critical to development.
Thus, when we assumed office, we decided to complete about 28 abandoned road projects that we inherited from the last administration and this intervention saw contractors going back to site.
Consequently, I have directed the Ministry of Works to warn all erring contractors to return to site within 14 days or have their contracts terminated and re-awarded to more committed contractors.”
The Governor also stressed that the abuse of roads are prevalent on major highways across  state was lawless and would no longer be acceptable.
” Consequently, I have directed with immediate effect, the constitution of a high-powered Special Task Force that will rid our roads of street traders, illegal road bumps, illegal motor parks as well as check indiscriminate parking of cars and trucks within our roadways, especially at Dadin Kowa, Mai Adiko and other areas.
On an auspicious occasion such as this, let me mention that the solar street lights we have so far put in place are not only to beautify the Metropolis, but also guarantee security. 
It is however unfortunate that reports reaching me indicate the destruction of some of the street lights by reckless drivers and some vandals.
Since these lights are installed to serve the  public good, let me again warn that any road user that knocks down a street light, as well as vandals arrested will be made to pay the full cost of replacing it among other penalties the courts will hand down,” he added.

The Commissioner for Works in the State, Pam Bot-Mang while welcoming everyone to the ceremony said that after the victory of Governor Lalong at the polls for a second term, the Governor, constituted a high powered committee, chaired by the deputy Governor Sunny Tyoden to prepare a blue print towards consolidating on the gains of the rescue mission.”

” This Committee among others was to work out policies, programs and projects for the Administration from May 2019 to 2023.
“As a member, we traversed every Local Government area in the State to access the Ongoing project, their level of completion, payment made and outstanding cost for completion. The tour also exposed the need for an urgent and immediate intervention to address the deplorable condition of road infrastructure across the State. He said.
Mr. Bot-Mang,  further  stated that the Government awarded 25 new road projects out of which three have since been completed,  while others were at various stages of completion. However,  due to lack of sustainable mechanism that will guarantee periodic and routine maintenance, of the completed roads, the quickly became deplorable and unmovable. “
“It is on record that this Government is the first to commit such a huge amount for the purpose of road maintenance.  In view of the enormous scope, some contractors that have asphalt plants within the state have been selected to partner with the Ministry and the Agency for a quick delivery of this assignment.  The scope of this work will cover 46 roads with a total of approximately 63km at the cost of One point Nine Billion naira.”
He called  on the people of the state to avoid digging and construction of speed bumps arbitrarily on the roads adding that they will soon issue guidelines and conditions to communities that are in the habit of indiscriminate building of speed bumps within the state.
Omolayo. A