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#FixGembuRoad: How Bad Road Cripples Economic, Tourism Potentials of Mambila Plateau

Stakeholders and residents in Mambila Plateau areas of Taraba State have identified bad roads as being responsible for crippling economic and tourism potentials in the area. 

They submitted that despite the fact that Sardauna local government is one of the oldest local government in Nigeria from the defunct Gongola, the deplorable roads in the area calls for concern.

The Conveners of the #Fix Gembu Road  bemoaned the roads condition leading to the Mambila Plateau attributing its deplorable state to lack of good policy choice and strategies from governments at all level. 

According to them, the vast arable lands, great tourism sites and significant deposit of largely untapped minerals which the area is endowed with were being wasted as good network of road to access the area for economic and tourism were missing.  

Charles Fidelis noted that collective action by residents and business owners is needed to send a strong signal to relevant stakeholders and governments in the state. 

"Roads are built in other countries for 30 or 40 years without anybody touching them. As long as we have the resources to build roads, there is no reason why we cannot build roads that will last 20 or 30 years. We are calling on all levels of the government to do something urgently on the Gembu Road.

"It is a national tragedy that does not shock anyone anymore that scores of innocent people are killed daily in avoidable accidents on accounts of bad roads.

"The Industrialist, Aliko Dangote, calculates that the economy losses more because of the poor road in our country which Sardauna Local government also contribute to the economy of this county. Some of us are business men and our businesses stand the risk of cutting off if something is not done.

"The same poor road network has resulted in poor productivity, as immeasurable man-hours are lost in poor road. Lack of good road network has made Gembu not to compete with their counterparts in Bali, Gashaka,  and even Wukari & Jalingo due to lack of effective and modern transport system. If Gembu has good roads the Business men will have competitive advantage over other local government.

"Gembu roads can be said to be in a state of catastrophe. Already 29 years, despite huge revenue from Agriculture, especially the Mambilla Highland tea, it is yet to develop a good transportation system. Our leaders have to alleviate the suffering of the people by building good roads, even to attract foreign direct investment good roads must be built," he said. 

On his part, a public policy analyst and  social commentator, JD Yaji, said the deplorable state of the road was as a result of neglect from successive governments. 

He noted that despite efforts by the last administration led by late Governor Danbaba Suntai, to rehabilitate the roads, his sudden death proved a stumbling block to his intended project. 

"The nature of the road presently especially from Gashaka to gembu is on the process of disconnecting this large local government which is Rich in all aspects of life, recognized as a world center of tourism with various natural resources given freely to the nation.

"The Danbaba/UTC administration started making some rehabilitation of the road despite being a federal highway but was short-lived by the incumbent administration.

It is very surprising and annoying that the present administration collected about 16 billions for the rehabilitation of the road from the federal government, But still nothing to show for it.

"All that we need now from the state government is, use the said amount and rehabilitate and construct this road," he said.  

According to him, the road leading to  Mambilla Plateau, though on federal government exclusive list, had become a death trap because of the terrain and that motorists plying that route had been involved in several accidents.

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