Oyo Assembly summons FERMA over road maintenance

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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Worried by what it described as the deterioration of the Iseyin-Oyo road, as well as the continued daily protests by commercial vehicle owners, residents and motorists against movement on the road, the Oyo State House of Assembly has summoned officials of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to its plenary next Thursday.

The move, which could be described as the lawmakers’ way of joining the list of protesters calling attention to the deplorable and worsening conditions of the road, follows a matter of urgent public importance moved by Mr Dele Adeola (Iseyin/Itesiwaju State Constituency).

According to the resolve of the House, FERMA would be expected to answer questions on why the Federal government had allowed the 71-year-old road assume an impassable state and whether there were immediate plans to fix the road or not.

In his presentation, Adeola noted that the consequences of the degradation of the road include usual crashes, loss of manhours and hindrance to the flow of economic activities between Ibadan and Oke-Ogun Zone of the State.

While calling on the Federal government to take fixing of the road as priority, Adeola urged Governor Seyi Makinde to also direct the State Road Transport Maintenance Agency to carry out palliative measures on the road.

Adeola said, “There have been protests by commercial vehicle operators on the Iseyin-Oyo Road everyday from Monday till today over the deterioration of the road. Motorists, passengers are blocked from moving due to the protests. The road needs urgent attention.”

Speaking in the same vein, Mr Kazeem Isiaka (Oyo East/West Constituency), lamented  that the Oke-Ogun Zone of the State was being disconnected from the Ibadan Zone as a result of the dilapidated Federal road, resulting in the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) being negatively affected.

He prayed the three senators representing the State to see to the inclusion of the Iseyin-Oyo road project in the 2020 Budget.

In his own comments, Minority Leader, Asimiyu Alarape, noted that the Odo-Ogun Bridge on the Iseyin-Oyo road was too narrow, accommodating only one car at a time, hence needing expansion.

Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin, prayed the Federal government to urgently release funds to fix the road.

Furthermore, in a bid to regulate the activities of commercial motorcycles, the “Control of Commercial Motorcycles (Further Amendment) Bill, 2019, passed the second reading stage.

Members, in their contributions, averred that the proposed Law would bring about sanity to motorcyclists’ operations by restricting their time of operation, make registration of motorcyclists mandatory and enable security agencies track crime associated with use of motorcycles.

Ime Njoku