The House of Representatives has called on the minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola to acquaint himself with realities on roads across the country instead of downplaying the deplorable situation of the roads.
Fashola had on Wednesday while dismissing reports on the bad state of the highways after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting said, “The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed. I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad.”
However, the chairman House Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Honourable Femi Bamisile said the Minister’s comment showed he had not been plying the major roads in the country.
Bamisile spoke in Erio -Ekiti on Friday while inspecting a collapsed bridge along Aramoko-Erio-Efon highway.
The lawmaker appealed to the Federal Government to release a sum of N12 billion to the agency to put Nigeria’s roads back to good shape before the Yuletide.
The All Progressives Congress lawmaker, representing Ekiti South Federal constituency II, said, “I don’t know where the Minister(Fashola) got that information about our roads. Our roads are bad and in sorry states and nothing more to describe it.
“Just take a look at this collapsed portion, it can contain a whole house if dropped inside. I want to believe that whoever says people’s complaints about our roads are mere hype must either be downplaying the situation or maybe the person doesn’t ply our roads at all.
“I saw a documentary about 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.”
Bamisile praised governor Kayode Fayemi for releasing a sum of N19 million to contractors to carry our palliative assignment on the collapsed portion.
“But temporary measure can’t work on this collapsed portion. We need to divert the road and do a thorough job here because this road was built on an old small culvert.
“Government must direct Dangote company to remove all the accidented trucks inside ditches along the road, they are constituting serious problems on our highways. It is quite unfortunate that our federal roads are like this and if you look well, this road is gradually cutting off. Three-quarter of the road has been cut off and it is unacceptable.
“We have just completed the process of budgeting and FERMA got a sum of N29 billion in the 2019 appropriation bill, this is too small to carry out major works on our roads, they are in bad shapes. The National assembly has made a good case that that would not be enough.
“The Committees in charge of FERMA in the House of Representatives and the Senate had requested an emergency fund of N12 billion to be released as a matter of urgency for this Yuletide period for the sake of our people and country.
“As a minimum, a sum of N2b for each geopolitical zone to FERMA will go a long way in helping 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,” he said.