The military would reopen another major transit road in Maduguri, the capital of Borno State, on December 24 as the anti-terrorism war records more successes.
This was made known on Tuesday by Habib Kekeno, the Caretaker Chairman of Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
The Maiduguri/Baga road has been closed since November 2014 by the military after the town of Baga suffered five major attacks from Boko Haram insurgents.
Kekeno noted that the continued closure of the road has had serious adverse effects on fishing and other socio-economic activities for which the town was hitherto renowned.
“It is hard to believe that Baga used to be a lively trading centre of 200,000 people where merchants would travel to sell cattle, leather goods and trade in fresh produce,” the LG boss said.
He added that though more than 2,000 fish traders and marketers were still producing fish in Baga, they however lacked access to transport their produce to Maiduguri.
Kekeno said: “I went to Baga about 21 times and I can tell you that I have met our fishermen who stocked about N4 million fish, but do not have access to bring them into Maiduguri.
“Baga was the largest producer of fish in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Its fishermen bordered from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and some other countries.
“Before the insurgency, more than 300 lorry loads of fish are transported to Maiduguri and other parts of the country in a week. But now, no single truck comes from Baga.”
Kekeno explained that Borno State is blessed with water bodies and a variety of fish species.
“Borno get its fishes from Damboa Dam, Aloa Dam, River Yobe, others from Chad Republic, but there is no access road leading to these places anymore,” he said.