The House Committee on Works Chairman Hon. Toby Okechukwu has recently stated that the new bill before the House of Representatives Committee on Works is not aimed at reducing the operational capability of FERMA as the Federal agency responsible for the maintenance of all Federal roads but will actually enhanced its efficiency as soon as it is passed into law.
This was made known during the committee’s consideration of the Federal Roads Bill that was referred to the House of Representatives by the Senate for concurrence.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives have recently called for the federal government to declare a state of emergency on Nigerian roads as a result of level of decay it has suffered over the years despite being budgeted for in successive budget appropriations, which have resulted to the death of many Nigerians.
In his view, “this legislation is a revolutionary one, it is a reform legislation for the entire road sector which goes beyond creating an institution for the development of the road sector.”
“It also creates a framework for the regulation of the road sector which has never been there before, it also gives us an opportunity to have a road sector that will build the capacity to maintain and develop the roads in Nigeria.”
He further claimed that this bill is not a FERMA bill as you know FERMA deals solely with road maintenance, but this bill goes beyond road maintenance, it is a more all encompassing institution that will be created to deal with construction and maintenance.
According to him, it is an anomaly where you will have the ministry embarking on the award of contract and so now we have a ministry and other agencies, where the Ministry is to focus on policy matters while the agency focuses on the actual work on the roads which is to keep them motorable.
Credit: Uchechukwu Ugboaja, Abuja