Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Borno State Government has officially commenced the construction of the first flyover in the North-east region with a ceremonial launch by the state Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara, yesterday in Maiduguri.
The flyover, which is intended to ease traffic at the normally congested Customs roundabout in Maiduguri, would connect three routes, including linking Maiduguri to Dikwa-Ngala economic road that leads to neighbouring countries-Cameroon and Chad.
Umara, who flagged off the flyover, which is 2.4 kilometre long with two opposite lanes on top of the bridge and at the bottom, announced that a second flyover would commence early next year, around the Post Office Roundabout at the centre of Maiduguri.
He said he was opening up the state capital as part of responses to increase the number of vehicles on the road caused by population growth largely instigated by forced migration of families who have permanently settled in Maiduguri as a result of displacement by insurgents.
Umara said new routes are also expected to contribute to better flow of traffic as well as matters of security and emergencies.
The governor said he intended to complete and start many other road projects this year as already provided for in the budget that was recently signed into law.
He said his intention is to ensure that roads like Maiduguri-Bama-Banki, Maiduguri-Dikwa-Ngala, and Damboa-Chibok-Mbalala are delivered in his current term in office.
The governor promised that ongoing and planned township roads would also be delivered around Jiddari-Polo, Mala, Kyariri and Zannari areas of Maiduguri metropolis and different parts of Biu, Monguno, Askira, Ngala and Gwoza Local Government Areas of the state.
Contract for the construction of the flyover was awarded to a Chinese construction firm, Eighteenth Engineering International Limited at the cost of N4.2 billion from which 30 percent mobilisation fee has already been released.