The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency in Nigeria, FERMA, has urged stakeholders to find the way forward to address the deplorable condition of roads across the country.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Nuruddeen Rafindadi said this at a meeting in Abuja.
Also FERMA Board Chairman, Mr Tunde Lemu said that alternative funding for roads maintenance in Nigeria was not debatable.
In agreement, participants said; ”the present condition of the roads is affecting socio-economic development of the country.”
Rafindadi had in an earlier interactive session with the Senate Committee on FERMA, said that funding to enhance operations and management of Federal roads in Nigeria by FERMA was a major challenge which necessitate propose 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 and to do all the needful to maintain enough presence nationwide in carrying out this mandate,” he stated.
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.
Rafindadi stressed that ”the challenges the Agency is facing such as national insecurity across the country, 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 is poor funding which is responsible for a lot of intervention not being done. 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 is affected which would dramatically increase the Agency’s capacity to work.
He also enjoined them to help in creating a special funding to allow FERMA do projects which are outside FERMA mandate but necessarily requires its intervention to alleviate the pains of the masses.
Against these backdrops, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Mr Gershom Bassey promised that National Assembly would to do all it can to ensure that FERMA is well funded.
He assured the agency that the Senate would look into its act for the rehabilitation of federal roads.