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Niger Road Network

 

The roads in Niger stretches about 18 950 kilometres. About 21 per cent of the roads are paved and classified as primary roads. Most of the paved roads can be found at the stretch between Niamey and Nguime, via Diffa, and the triangle consisting of Agadez, Zinder and Tahoua. Secondary roads make up around 13.5% and consist of lateral and gravel roads. Tertiary roads are about 7.5 per cent and are generally dirt roads. The remaining 58 per cent consists of rural tracks and trails. The road network is mostly developed in the south which is most densely populated and where most of the economic activity takes place. Agadez-Arlit is also reasonably developed as this is the centre of the uranium activity. The country itself is very large (1 267 000 km2) and distances between major towns can reach up to 1 500 kilometres. As there is neither railway nor domestic air service Niger is dependent and its road network to connect its major population centres and support economic activity. There is strong need for road rehabilitation and maintenance to keep up with economic development, but being last on the human development index, funding has been sufficient.

The main challenge and risk for bottlenecks are the state of the roads. Regional corridors on Nigerien territory are in poor condition. Reparations have been done on the Bella Gaya stretch, but the remaining stretch from Bella to Dosso is in bad shape. The Benin and Togo sides are not much better, about half the stretches remains unpaved. Improving the condition of the road network, both paved and unpaved, remains an important challenge. Financing the maintenance of road networks with low density and traffic is particularly challenging – this part of the road network will generally be more or less impassable during the wet season. Paved roads are normally well functioning, but at some stretches the surface has begun to erode and motorists have started to create side trails giving higher risk to delays and breakdowns. Secondary roads are normally in fair condition, but may be flooded in the wet season. The toughest challenges occur during the wet season when tracks and trails will be practically impassable. Although these places usually see little traffic they are often the places most in need of assistance in times of drought and short supply of food.

CAFER (Caisse Autonome de Financement de l’Entretien Routier) is the governmental entity charged with maintaining the roads. Nonetheless, CAFER is only responsible for about 10 000 kilometers which is just over half of the total road network. Of the paved roads CAFER estimates that half is in good condition, 40 per cent in fair condition while the rest is in poor condition. For the dirt roads that fall under CAFER’s responsibility over 20 per cent is characterized as in very poor condition. Not to mention the roads that are not under CAFER – these roads are supposed to be the responsibility of the Direction Générale de Pistes Rurales which so far has shown little proof of activity. CAFER gets some funding through the ministry of equipment, under which they belong, and they get some funds from road tolls which vehicles need to pay as a function of vehicle size, distance travelled and state of road. The majority of the funding for rehabilitation and maintenance is however provided by foreign agents – notably the World Bank, the European Union, BOAD (Banque Ouest Africain de Développement and the Chinese government.

 

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link:

4.1 Government Contact List

Distance Matrix

Km

Niamey

Agadez

Diffa

Maradi

Tahoua

Zinder

Niamey

 

951

1 358

660

546

891

 Agadez

951

 

912

749

405

445

Diffa

1 358

912

 

702

1 042

467

Maradi

660

749

702

 

344

235

Tahoua

546

405

1 042

344

 

575

 Zinder

891

445

467

235

575

 

 

Travel time is based on average transit time by WFP commercial transporters in 2017. Quicker trajectories are possible.

 

Days

Niamey

Agadez

Diffa

Maradi

Tahoua

Zinder

Niamey

 

7

5

4

2

3

Agadez

7

 

4

6

3

2

Diffa

5

4

 

2

2

2

Maradi

4

6

2

 

2

5

Tahoua

2

3

2

2

 

2

Zinder

3

2

2

5

2

 

Road Security

Road safety throughout Niger is a concern and humanitarian agencies generally forbid travel after dark due to elevated risk of accidents. Maintenance of paved infrastructure is perpetually behind needs. To illustrate any longer stretch of road undergoing work will generally expose potholes on the stretch before the entire stretch have been completed. Secondary roads are of poor quality and will in some areas be impassable during rainfall. Roadside emergency assistance is poor to non-existent. The main causes of accidents are driver carelessness and/or exhaustion, excessive speed, poorly maintained vehicles, and poor road surfaces. Other factors include the hazardous mix of transport trucks, bicycles, mopeds, unwary pedestrians, donkey carts, animals (cattle, goats, camels), and buses on roads that are generally damaged and poorly lit. Overloaded tractor-trailers, “bush taxis,” and disabled vehicles are additional dangers on rural roads, where speeds are generally higher.

Certain parts of Niger, notably the border areas to Mali and the Diffa region, notably south-east are security risks due to threat of violence. These parts requires armed escorts by the government. Field missions requires four-wheel-drive vehicles, which can create an additional security risk due to theft as these vehicles are high in demand. Driving at night is always hazardous and should be avoided. Banditry is a continuing problem in northern and eastern Niger, as well as along the border with Mali. There have been occasional car-jackings and highway robberies throughout the country.

While taxis are available at a fixed fare in Niamey, most are in poor condition, and do not meet basic road safety standards. Inter-city “bush-taxis” are available at negotiable fares, but these vehicles (minibuses, station wagons, and sedans) are generally older, unsafe models that are overloaded, poorly maintained, and driven by reckless operators seeking to save time and money. There are several bus companies operating inter-city traffic with a relatively modern fleet. There is some concern regarding the youth of drivers, lack of training, and the speed with which the private bus companies travel the Nigerien roads. 

 

Weighbridges and Axle Load Limits

The axle road limits have been in place for many years and Niger increased the number and placement of weight bridges back in 2009. After a vigorous start the control of these limits dwindled down and was a period not a consideration for transporters. However, Nigerien authorities reinforced the control in 2017 to the lament of the transporters.   

Axle load limits

NIGER

Transit Countries UEMOA

Truck with 2 axles

18 MT

18 MT

Truck with 3 axles

26 MT

26 MT

Truck with 4 axles

31 MT

31 MT

Semi-trailer with 3 axles

30 MT

30 MT

Semi-trailer with 4 axles

38 MT

38 MT

Semi-trailer with 5 axles

43 MT

43 MT

Semi-trailer with 6 axles

51 MT

51 MT

Truck & drawbar trailer with 4 axles

38 MT

38 MT

Truck & drawbar trailer with 5 axles

46 MT

46 MT

Truck & drawbar trailer with 6 axles

51 MT

51 MT

Truck & drawbar trailer with 7 axles

51 MT

51 MT


Road Class and Surface Conditions

Niger Road Network Map

Niger map

 

Niger road map