The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, declared that transferring of roads belonging to the Federal Government to states for repairs might not be feasible.
He said this in an interview with newsmen shortly after his visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, at the latter’s office in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
Gbajabiamila said the House of Representatives would have to deliberate on the legal implications on the matter of transferring federal roads to state for repairs to know whether it is feasible or not.
The Speaker said transferring of FG roads to the state might require the amendment of the Privatisation Act because the roads are assets of the government at the centre.
He submitted that it was extremely important to have access roads across the country, especially Ogun, being an industrial hub of the country.
Gbajabiamila commended the state government for its commitment to infrastructure development while expressing the readiness of the lower chamber to collaborate with the state in terms of road projects.
On why he was visiting the state, Gbajabiamila said, “With this Sallah break, I just thought to stop by to see him and encourage him because of all the things I have heard and some of the things that I have seen in terms of giant strides in the last one year.
“We had a fruitful deliberation on ways the Federal Government and Ogun State can collaborate towards the advancement of the state.
“It was important that the governor raised issues concerning state of federal government roads in Ogun, this is an industrial state so to speak and if you have several companies that are developing the state, and Nigeria situated in places where they are not passable, it makes that environment very difficult for them to work. So, those observations were received.
” It is for us to look at whether it is even possible legally for the Federal Government to transfer federal roads to any states, that I’m not sure how feasible that is.
But there is more than one way to skin a cat. So even where that is not feasible, it might even require the amendment of the Privatisation Act.
It’s the Federal Government assets. But if that is not feasible, there are other models that we can look at in terms of other people fixing the roads and then the Federal Government owing them or setting off whatever debts owed by the state, so either way, something definitely needs to be done about those roads.”
Speaking earlier, Governor Abiodun expressed displeasure on the deplorable state of old Lagos -Abeokuta road; Ikorodu-Sagamu expressway; Ijebu Ode -Epe expressway and Agbara-Atan road.
He noted that the old Lagos -Abeokuta expressway was awarded for construction by the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration which had not been completed, despite yearly budget for its completion.
Abiodun urged the Speaker to intervene at the federal level for the road to be handed over to the state for reconstruction.
“The deplorable state of federal roads in the state is affecting the state economy. Companies situated along the Agbara-Atan axis have folded up businesses Nigerians are having harrowing experiences on a daily basis on these roads.
“Mr Speaker, kindly use your good office to intervene on behalf of the State to ensure the roads are put in good conditions,” he added.