The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, has urged northern elders and youths to strive to ensure that peace reigned in the region for development to thrive.
Maku made the call on Friday in Abuja at the Ministerial Press conference where the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, appeared to present the score of the ministry.
Citing an example from the presentation of the works minister, Maku said that the Kano-Maiduguri road which should have reached 90 per cent completion, had stopped at 65 per cent completion because of insurgency.
He said that while development was stunted in the northern part of the country, other areas were making quantum leaps in various developmental projects.
“In terms of strategic road delivery, the president has recorded very high marks for the country; unfortunately, the insurgency in the North-East has reduced the pace of work for us.
“If we can overcome that threat, we will see that the roads will be delivered faster because the topography of the North makes road delivery very easy than in the South.
“We are beginning to move and we can do better by allowing peace to reign; the money we have spent fighting Boko Haram and insecurity, that money would have been used for development.
“Everyone of us stakeholders in the north, we have a duty to stand up and be counted.
“The military alone cannot deliver security; it must be our duty at the community level, as community leaders, traditional leaders, local government chairmen and politicians to stand up and be counted.
“For those areas not yet affected, you must know that once trouble starts in your community, development will be interrupted”.
Maku said that the best way to encourage the president to meet his Transformation Agenda in all parts of the country, was to allow peace to reign.
The minister also urged Nigerians to desist from building on the right of way, to avoid causing trouble for themselves and for the government at various levels.
He urged all relevant government agencies to be proactive in preventing people from erecting structures on such right of way, to avoid the trauma of having to demolish such structures.
He admonished state governments to desist from laying false claims to federal roads as though it were a state road rehabilitated or reconstructed by the state.
Maku said that the Federal Government had decided to place marking on every two kilometre of federal road to indicate tha to prevent state governors from claiming to have constructed them.
He commended the Ministry of Works for the laudable work it had done in the sector.
The minister noted that the ministry had constructed 25,000 kms of roads by 2014 from 4,500 Kms in 201, to with 62 Federal roads completed and 52 others at various stages of completion.
The minister said that in the next four years, roads would be constructed using private sector funds, adding that by 2019, the railways would have been completed under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. (NAN)