By Golfa Francis, Abuja
The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency in Nigeria, FERMA, in Nigeria has stressed the need for its stakeholders to find the way forward as it addressed concerns on the deplorable condition of roads across the country.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Engineer Nuruddeen Rafindadi at a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja said the present condition of roads in Nigeria calls for concerted effort, thereby emphasised the need for the stakeholders to find a workable way for adequate funding of Federal roads across Nigeria.
Also FERMA Board Chairman, Mr Tunde Lemu argued that alternative funding for roads maintenance in Nigeria was not debatable.
Participants at the meeting agreed that the present condition of the roads was affecting socio-economic development of the country.
Engineer Rafindadi, had in an earlier interactive session with the Senate Committee on FERMA, stated that funding to enhance operations and management of Federal roads in Nigeria by FERMA was a major challenge which necessitated proposed suggestions on resolving the challenges.
“FERMA was established by an Act of National Assembly of 2002 and an amendment of 2007 to monitor and maintain all Federal roads in Nigeria, and to do all the needful to maintain enough presence nationwide in carrying out this mandate,” Rafindadi stated.
He stated that FERMA operations include routine and periodic maintenance works, major and minor repair works, emergency road repair works, road and route marking, providing road furniture, Direct Labour interventions, construction and maintenance of hydraulic structures and zonal intervention (constituency) projects.
He further stated that a number of challenges the Agency was facing such as national insecurity, rainy season and poor condition of service were affecting the performance of delivering on its mandate.
The FERMA Boss however said that the major challenge was poor funding which was responsible for a lot of interventions not being actualised.
Alleviate the pains
He called on the Senate Committee to come to the aid of FERMA by ensuring that the implementation of the 5% user charge on Petroleum product was affected to increase the Agency’s capacity to work.
He also enjoined them to help in creating special funding to allow FERMA do projects which are outside FERMA’s mandate but which necessarily requires FERMA intervention to alleviate the pains of the masses.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Mr Gershom Bassey promised that the National assembly would do all it can to see that FERMA was well funded to enable it meet with the mandate for which it was created.
He gave assurance that the Senate would look into the agency’s act for the rehabilitation of federal roads.