The House of Representatives has directed the Federal Ministry of Finance and Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, to immediately release funds to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, (FERMA) to commence rehabilitation of federal roads in the six Geopolitical Zones before the festive period.
This directive was prompted by a motion sponsored by Honourable Nnolim Nnaji of Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State.
In the motion titled, “Need to Release Funds to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency” to rehabilitate Federal Roads Across the six Geopolitical Zones,” Nnaji noted that at the moment, majority of the roads in all the six geopolitical zones in the country are in bad state.
He stressed that by virtue of the provisions of section 7 of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act2002, FERMA was required to ensure efficient and effective maintenance of all existing trunk roads in Nigeria.
He said the House should be concerned that in the next few days, the 2019 festive period would commence and Nigerians would be traveling to their various villages across the country to celebrate with their families and loved ones.
Nnaji, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation further observed that, “over 95 percent of the citizens rely on road transportation because it is cheaper than travelling by air and the only alternative which is by rail is not yet available since only Abuja-Kaduna is functional at the moment.”
He regretted that inadequate funding had continued to hinder the agency, (FERMA) from fulfilling its statutory mandate of ensuring efficient and effective maintenance of Federal Roads pointing out that out of the sum of N24.69 billion allocated to the agency in 2019 budget for capital projects only a negligible fraction has so far been released.
Nnaji, added that if funds were duly released to FERMA by the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant-General’s office in line with the 2019 budgetary provisions, it would go a long way in addressing the poor state of the roads.
He was of the opinion that if nothing was done to rehabilitate the roads before the Christmas season; Nigerians would be thrown into avoidable stress from the resultant gridlocks and accidents.