By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah Thursday, said corrupt Ministers, governors, National Assembly members turn constituency projects, village roads to federal roads, thereby creating problem of management and maintenance of these roads.
Speaking at the 2nd Annual Stakeholders’ workshop on Road and Mass Transit operations in Nigeria, Attah said “Roads that were designated as federal roads through the corrupt influence of Minister, governors and their friends most especially members of the National Assembly , village roads that were built as constituency projects became federal roads, governors with influence at the center also added to this chaos.
“The diverstating consequences of this are the total length of federal roads is so overwhelming that they are impossible to maintain.
The roads were not built to an adequate specification and they therefore fall into disrepair after two or three rainy season.”
While offering solutions to the problem, the former governor noted that the “answer lies in the rationalization . This presentation visualizes a rationalization whereby only major interstate roads would be designated as federal roads. These roads would be built to the standard of motorways in Britain, autobahns in freeways in America.
“The alignment of these roads would be such as to guarantee that all the 36 States of the Federation, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, are transverse by, or at least one or more of these roads terminating in them.”
Also, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, while speaking at the function, said the objectives in this year’s edition of the program as projected in the theme ‘Role of Road Transportation in the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan’ are to explore more opportunities to effectively engage the public, the private sector, and all relevant stakeholders in the development of the much-needed sophisticated transportation infrastructure, and the enabling environment that will make road transportation contribute immensely to the Nation’s Economy.
Director Road Transport & Mass Transit Administor, Mrs Anthonia Ekpa, while speaking to journalist at the function, said “government is targeted towards PPP and private partnership. We have within these two years of the administration extended our basis of interaction and engagement towards reaching the private sector. Not only for sponsorship but for innovations that are more modern and globally acceptable. We have done a lot in the ministry under this administration.”
Also, the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said “the road is a public asset which should be used in accordance with the axle limits to derive maximum service and benefits to justify the expenditure of the tax payers‘ funds.
“The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing will within available resources continue to ensure that the nation‘s road network remains serviceable at all times and also encourage the Country’s financial institutions to invest in road infrastructure in order to compliment the efforts of the Federal Government.
“It is therefore, our greatest expectation that this workshop will examine t e persistent problems of road transport management in Nigeria and proffer appropriate policy implications towards improving the mass. transit operations in our Country. “