The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Femi Bamisile, on Friday described the situation of most Nigerian roads as parlous, saying urgent concrete steps needed to be taken to avert unnecessary deaths on the roads.
Bamisile said the N29bn earmarked for road repairs in the 2020 budget would not be enough considering the condition of Nigerian roads.
He said, “The House Committee and the Senate Committee on FERMA made a classic demand that the N29bn earmarked for FERMA would not be enough.”
The National Assembly member spoke at Erio Ekiti, Ekiti West Council area of Ekiti State during an inspection tour of the Erio Bridge along Aramoko – Iwaraja Road which collapsed and another bridge in the area which had shown signs of weakness.
He said, “All these roads are 25, 30, and 40 years old. They are old roads and need to be catered for. This is what I was saying when I said governors should attend to the roads in their states. It does not matter whether it is a state road or federal road.”
Bamisile appealed to the Federal Government to release N12bn to FERMA to fix the roads across the six geo-political zones and put them in good conditions ahead of the Christmas season.
He said, “The committees in charge of FERMA in the House of Representatives and the Senate had requested release of an emergency fund of N12bn as a matter of urgency for this Yuletide for the sake of our people and country. As a minimum, a sum of N2bn for each geopolitical zone will help us carry out major repairs on our bad roads.
“The situations of our federal roads are bad and pathetic and our people don’t deserve this. The Federal Government must allow the states to attend to them to rescue our people and save them from pains.”
The lawmaker also faulted statement credited to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, that Nigerian roads were not as bad as being portrayed.
Bamisile said, “I want to believe that whoever says people’s complaints about our roads are mere hypes must either be downplaying the situation or maybe the person doesn’t ply our roads at all.
“I saw a documentary on federal roads in Anambra State recently. In fact, I saw a road that had totally cut off. The minister must accept the reality that our roads need serious attention.”
He assured of reconstruction work of the collapsed bridge at Erio Ekiti.