Stand Point

Pathetic state of Kaiama roads

 

WITH JOKE ADENIYI-JACKSON

Journalists and adventure are ‘synonymous; it is for this reason that
practitioners love to ‘globe trot.’ The enthusiasm to explore and
exploit is a driving force for newsmen on the field. Excitement was
boldly written on the countenance of a junior colleague sometime ago
when he was assigned to cover an assignment in Kaiama Local Government
Area in the Kwara North Senatorial District of the state. It was his
first trip to that part of the state. However, on his return, he
brought back unsavoury tale of a drudgery journey courtesy the
deplorable state of roads in the area. His high spirit was dampened by
the ride on the bumpy road to their destination.
The town blessed with abundance of the food basket of the state, has
the three federal roads leading to it in bad state. The deplorable
situation of roads in that part of the state calls for concern. Apart
from the fact it has given rise to hike of transportation cost,
motorists and travellers are daily exposed to danger as a result of
the bad condition of almost all the roads in the local government. The
road situation is made worse by the rain, making it un-motorable.  The
town also play host to collapsed bridge which has made the road a
death trap of some sort. Apart from danger resulting from avoidable
auto accidents on the roads, there is also the danger of armed robbers
taking advantage of the deplorable condition of the roads to attack
and rob passengers of their valuables. The challenge is further
compounded by badly damaged culverts, which necessitated the call by
the Emir of Kaiama , His Royal Highness,  Alhaji Muazu Omar, on
several occasions for urgent repairs, decrying the state of roads in
his domain  especially during rainy season.
It is quite unfortunate that Kaiama, a local government that possesses
natural endowments of fertile land for agricultural activities and
abundant rivers for fishing, can suffer such fate. It has the largest
reserve for yam and yam flour in the state among other food crops. It
is an area that can aptly be described as food basket of the state and
by extension the nation.  However, the bad road has adversely affected
the economy of farmers who record diminishing patronage for their
produce and consequently collosal loss. For this reason, farmers are
said to be leaving the town in drove.
Aside the agricultural benefit, Patigi also has locational advantage
as it links the north and south. Despite these, the area is on the
verge of being cut off from other parts of the country owing to lack
of good road networks and bridges. So also, the lack of roads has
affected the establishment of higher institutions and investment in
the mineral deposits in the area such as gold, tin and tantalite in
the area.
The construction of the roads in Kaiama will, no doubt, boost
socioeconomic activities of Nigeria as a whole and improve the
standard of living of the indigenous and hardworking people of Kaiama.
Hence, there is the need for the construction of the roads linking
Kaiama to Kainji and Kaiama-Bode Saadu road project, which would have
been a direct road link between Kaiama and Ilorin,  which has been
abandoned. The Kaiama-Kosubosu, constructed during the colonial era,
has been described as travellers’ nightmare  and said to be the worst
road in this clime, it is said to portend danger to lives of
motorists.
The construction of these roads will help cut back on number of lives
lost through road accident on the aforementioned roads. Moreso,
government should expedite action on the rehabilitation of federal
roads, which are  begging for repairs. The state government can open
up rural areas in the state that are blessed with agricultural and
tourism potentials to the world, with good road networks.
Roads play  important role in the economy by enhancing smooth movement
of goods and people from one place to another, therefore it is
pertinent for the Federal Government to pay attention to Kwara roads
under its purview.  Or better still, as suggested by the former state
Governor, Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed states where federal roads are
located should be made to assume ownership, after the legal and fiscal
adjustments necessary for control might have been made.
However, most importantly the need to improve infrastructural
development in the state, should be of premium priority to our
government.

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