Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi that the Federal Government will reach out to the families affected by the petrol tanker accident that occurred in the state.
Bello disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after a private meeting with Vice President on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
No fewer than 30 persons died on Wednesday when petrol tanker exploded and ignited fire that also destroyed property at Felele, Lokoja, Kogi State capital.
The governor said that the Vice President also promised that the Federal Government would rehabilitate that section of the road to guard against another accident.
“The discussion was very okay; the vice president is a very caring father and he is concerned about what happened particularly yesterday–the unfortunate fire accident that claimed lives of innocent citizens of the state.
“So, our discussion was fruitful; he expressed his sympathy and condolences for the families that lost their loved ones and promised to ensure that the Federal Government brings succour to the families of those that lost their loved ones and forestall future occurrences especially at that spot.’’
Bello said that his visit to the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday was also in connection with the fire incident and the road infrastructure that crisscross Kogi.
He said that the minister swiftly invited all those that were concerned with road construction and rehabilitation.
The governor said that Fashola was concerned and had directed FERMA to move into that spot immediately and fix it.
“Not only that, the road that is coming from Okene into Lokoja down to Abaji; between Kabba to Ekpe; Omu-Aran to Illorin and Ganaja to Ganaja village across to Shintaku to Dekina and Ayangba.
“He has taken them seriously and he has promised that they will be well funded this time around.
“And also, the rehabilitation of Muritala Mohammed bridge; you know we are using only one lane there; so, he has called the contractors to ensure that speedily complete that project in view of the ember months that we are in now.
“You recall sometimes last July, that I was on the road for five hours controlling traffic in that area; so he expressed his concern that moving forward, the Federal Government is going to fund the contractors to insure the road projects are completed.
“The Federal Government is doing excellently very well in road infrastructure across the country but we want more attention to be paid to Kogi State because it is the gateway between the North and the South; if our road is cut off, even FCT is going to suffer for it.’’
On the proposed Kogi State University of Science and Technology, Osara, he said that the world was tilting from resource-based economy to knowledge-based economy.
He said that the state was blessed with recourses and required knowledge to be able to tap into the resources and make them useful for the people.
“So, we desire that apart from the conventional universities we have, the Kogi State University and the Federal University, Lokoja, we desire to have a specialised university; hence the establishment of Kogi State University of Science and Technology.
“In terms of funding, we have to embed it in our law to ensure allocation received at state and local governments and what we generate as revenue, a certain percentage is dedicated to the development of that university.
“That is number one; number two, we are in touch with other development partners both nationally and internationally to come to our aid.
“I recently visited TETFUND; where they have committed that they are going to come in handy to ensure that university comes to be,’’ he said.
He expressed optimism that the university would come to fruition with the help of development partners in view of its specialty.