Despite N80.1bn Intervention, Rehabilitation of Damaturu-Biu Road Not Completed 9 Years After

Nine years after the rehabilitation of Damaturu-Biu road was awarded to Messrs Fik Global Resources Ltd, at the sum of N8.1 billion in 2014, the road [connecting Yobe and Borno states] is still in a deplorable condition.

A Premium Times-owned platform, UDEME, reports that the road which is approximately 125km connects villages and towns in Yobe and Borno states. Used by farmers, artisans and other commuters, the road is an alternative route for heavy trucks transporting farm produce, including travellers from Adamawa to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

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A 45-year-old commercial driver, Salisu Ibrahim who has had no choice but to endure a dusty and bumpy ride on the road, narrated his ordeal, fearing the road could further deteriorate. According to him, construction workers, seven years ago, scraped off the old road built in the 1970s.

“I definitely cannot keep up with working on this kind of road when I clock 50 years,” he said. “Moreover, there is no place without a hole on this part of the road; we are already in the rainy season, and one could get stuck for hours, sometimes days when it rains.”

Traders who also ply the road to Biu market in Borno State lamented the worsening situation of the road.

Mohammed Gambo, a livestock trader, said the journey from Buratai to Miringa is the closest. He explained that the journey should be less than 50 minutes but it now takes 1hr 30 minutes.

Another driver, Yakubu Adamu, shares a similar experience with Ibrahim, saying the road has cost several damages to his car.

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“I have spent a lot of money changing the wheels on my car shock absorber, moving passengers to Biu is tasking, I barely save money, and I rather take passengers from Damaturu to stop in Buratai because that side is good,” he said.

“I once walked more than 3 kilometres after our car got stuck in the mud; my transport fare was not refunded despite paying an outrageous fare,” said Amina Ibrahim, a trader from Yobe State. “To travel this road, one has to be careful, I call to ask if rain fell just to make sure I don’t experience the same situation, once it is cloudy I become restless and begin to pack up.”

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A community leader, Umaru Mohammed, recalled how the Emir of Biu Emirate, got stuck on the road due to the level of water and mud. “At a time I had to intervene and talk to some angry youths from this town not to take the law into their hands as they made attempts to protest and drive away the construction workers at their site yard,” he said.

Abubakar Ibrahim, secretary for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), in the axis, urged the company to brace up its work.

“The contractor should better use stones to fill up the road instead of laterite sand because the road gets muddy and impassable when it rains,” he advised. “The drainages and culverts are too small to accommodate the volume of water coming from the hill. It took the effort of community members from Buratai, Miringa, and Biu to put stones and make temporary repairs on the road during last year’s rainy season.”


Messrs Fik Global Resources Ltd, in response to an enquiry by UDEME, explained why the rehabilitation of the road lingers.

Marked with contract number: C/No 6256, the project is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. Further findings revealed the 2014 Appropriation Bill and the Subsidy Reimbursement Empowerment Program (SURE-P) as the source of funds for the project.

The construction company, in a letter, explained that delay in disbursement of funds and insecurity among others are the banes frustrating the project.

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It said despite issuing the project in 2014, lack of funding and low-budget implementation, were setbacks encountered as the project was not funded until 2016. Funding came with a yearly budget provision for as low as N100 million, the letter reads.

Corroborating the company’s words, Federal Comptroller of Works in Borno State, Amos A. Tongman, said though the contractor complained of insecurity during construction, the major challenge at the beginning was cash constraint, and also that the job was awarded to a local contractor who did not have the financial capacity at the time of awarding the contract.

“There was a lot of reliance on the Ministry to make money available, and funding became a problem, considering that funds from SURE-P which forms part of the funding, had been trashed by the Buhari administration”, Tongman said.


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