As we all know, major roads in Nigeria are in their very bad state. And these road has led to the loss of billions of naira in economic value as well as thousands of avoidable death from accidents.
Just recently, the Federal Government revealed that the worst roads in Nigeria are located in the South South and South East.
According to The Sun, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works, Power and Housing mentioned that efforts are in top gear to fix the roads while appearing before the Senate committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
He added that N100 billion sourced through the Sukuk Bond, was yet to be released to his ministry as the money was supposed to construct 25 major roads in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
His statement read thus;
Many roads in the South-east and South-south were built before the Civil War. They are among the worst in the country. They need to be replaced.
“Funds generated from Sukuk have not been released because of the conditions tied to it. We will try and repair the roads before people start traveling for the festivities in December. We are doing something about that.”
Senator Abe mentioned that lawmakers, who are genuine delegates of the general population, are typically sidelined by heads of ministries, divisions and organizations of the government when considering where to site projects, according to Sun.
Senator Abe: “As elected representatives of the people, if the federal government is doing anything in your areas, our input are hardly needed. We will, then, have to fight for relevance. We are meeting you because of the challenges FERMA, which is under your supervision is facing. Is this agency relevant in the scheme of things in your ministry? We need you to touch on the core challenges of this agency,”.
Fashola: “When we did the audit of our roads, we discovered some sections are bad. Many roads have outlived their lifespan. Many roads in the South East and South South were built before the civil war. They are among the worst in the country. They need to be replaced.Funds generated from Sukuk have not been released because of the conditions tied to it. We will try and repair the roads before people start traveling for the festivities in December. We are doing something about that.”
He added that; “One of the reccurring story of under-performance which we inherited is that of ministerial interference. We have tried to supervise without interfering. As best as possible, we try not to.I have tried to enable government see what it is spending in each of the parastatals under my ministry. In the past, FERMA spent money on areas it had no business with. That has to stop.
“If you allocate money and it is spent on local government roads, it means something is wrong. The core mandate of FERMA is to repair federal roads.
“In the past, FERMA collected monies for roads they did not construct. That has to stop in this government.
Meanwhile, Fashola told senators that government had concluded plans to re-introduce tolls on roads across the country and these toll points would be managed by private organisations as part of the Federal Government’s job creation scheme.
Let us all keep hoping for the best, Nigeria would get better.