- The minister of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that the worst roads in the country are located in the south east and south south geopolitical zones
- According to Fashola, most of the roads in the two regions had outlived their lifespan, he stated that they were actually constructed before the civil war
- Fashola disclosed that funds generated from Sukuk had not been released to refurbish the roads, but stated that his ministry would try and repair them before the December festivities
The Nigerian federal government has disclosed that the south south and south east geopolitical zones have the worst roads in the country, The Sun reports.
The disclosure was made by the minister of works, power and hosuing, Babatunde Fashola, as he appeared before the Magnus Abe-led Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
NAIJ.com gathers that Fashola stated that some of the major federal roads in the 11 states in both zones, were actually constructed before the 1967-70 civil war.
However, the minister said efforts were underway to get the roads fixed before the festive season kicks off in December.
He stated: “When we did the audit of our roads, we discovered some sections are bad. Many roads have outlived their lifespans.
“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.”
Speaking at the hearing, Senator Abe lamented that when deliberating about how projects would be cited, lawmakers were usually pushed aside by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), and their inputs shunned.
He however stated that they were committed to resolving FERMA’s core challenges.
In his words: “As elected representatives of the people, if the federal government is doing anything in your areas, our inputs 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 your scheme of things in your Ministry? We need you to touch on the core challenges of this agency.”
Fashola responded about FERMA’s challenges: “One of the reoccurring stories of underperformance 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.
“FERMA can be the largest construction company in the country. It depends on what we are willing to put into the agency. In the past, FERMA collected monies for roads they did not construct. That has to stop in this government.
“We are working with the Army Corps to see how we can develop local content. FERMA can be the biggest construction firm. The unemployment challenges we have can be reduced if FERMA is busy is every state.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a geopolitical and socio-economic research firm, SBM Intelligence, released a report listing some of the worst roads in Nigeria.
According to the report, the poor state of road transportation in Nigeria had led to the loss of billions of naira in economic value as well as thousands of avoidable deaths from accidents.
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