BY ABAH ADAH, Abuja
The managing director (MD), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Engr Nuruddeen Rafindadi, has stated that the poor condition of over a half the 36, 000km federal roads network in the country is largely a function of poor funding.
The FERMA boss made the assertion when a delegation of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), led by its national President, Mukhtar Sirajo, embarked on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.
He said, “Building and mending the Nigerian roads is a very hazardous and expensive endeavour, and the roads consist of a highways network, i.e. network of major trunk A roads, of about 36, 000km of which I will say more than half is not in good condition.
“This is essentially because they have reached their lifecycle and need to reconstructed or rehabilitated, but which has not been done due mainly to lack of funds.”
He said while all major interventions including construction and reconstruction rest on the shoulders of the Ministry of Works and Housing which supervises FERMA, the agency’s role is to carry out repairs, maintenance and minor rehabilitation, and both are doing their utmost best across the country with the meagre resources at their disposal.
He said FERMA’s area of service, which are the roads, is very open to public criticism, and as such the agency needs to continually explain things hence the importance of the partnership with NIPR, especially in the area of crisis communication management.
Speaking earlier, NIPR President, Sirajo who invited the FERMA boss to attend and give a talk on the Challenges of Emergency Road Maintenance early next year at the institute’s AGM in Bauchi, Bauchi State, appealed to all concerned to support FERMA towards improved appropriation of funds, given the critical role of the agency in providing motorable roads to Nigerians which in turn spurs economic growth.