Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the 24.7-km Bangkinang-Pangkalan section of the Pekanbaru-Padang Toll Road in Riau Province on Friday.

In his speech at the inauguration event, monitored by ANTARA from here through a live YouTube broadcast, Jokowi said he was grateful that the toll road can now be operational.

"Thank God, today the Pekanbaru-Padang Toll Road Bangkinang-Pangkalan Section Phase 1, namely the Bangkinang - XIII Koto Kampar section, has been completed with a length of 24.7 km, which we built since 2019,” he stated.

The head of state remarked that a budget of Rp4.8 trillion, or US$295.4 million, was spent on the toll road section that took five years to build.

He noted that the toll road is connected to the Trans Sumatra Toll Road.

Its development is expected to continue to progress every year to connect Pekanbaru to Padang, West Sumatra.

The head of state remarked that for the implementation of the Riau Province Regional Road Presidential Instruction, 10 roads, with length totaling 63 km, have been completed and repaired, with a budget of Rp369 billion, or around US$22.7 million.

The president advised the governor, district heads, and mayors in Riau to connect the completed toll roads to productive areas, such as agriculture, plantation, and tourism zones.

"(This is) so that it can become concrete, there are benefits for the people and for regional economic growth, and it also speeds up the mobility of people and goods, so that we can compete with other countries," he remarked.

Earlier, President Jokowi in the National Development Planning Consensus agenda in Jakarta also emphasized that synchronization between the center and regions must be carried out immediately as the key to development in the country.

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Translator: Rangga, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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