Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Wednesday frowned at a statement credited to the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, that the Federal Government would not refund money spent by states to repair federal roads that traversed their states.
The chairman, House Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Olufemi Bamisile, who stated this at the inaugural meeting of the committee, said Fashola had indirectly told state governors not to bother repairing federal roads in their domains.
The lawmaker noted that there is need to address the deplorable state of road infrastructure in the country as majority of Nigerians rely on roads for their travels.
“The question is simple. Does it mean that Nigerians would not get any value for the various taxes they pay? Does it mean that Nigerians will continue to be exposed to the dangers associated with our roads with all gullies and potholes?
“The questions are endless and this committee must address this issue so that we can give good governance to our constituents and Nigerian as a whole.
“I need to remind us that 99 percent of Nigerians rely on road to get to their destinations within the country. Some Nigerians cannot afford to travel by air. Unfortunately, transportation by rail is limited at the moment because the only functional railway line is Abuja- Kaduna rail.
“Therefore, we have a duty as a committee to ensure that our roads are safe and motorable,” Bamisile stated.
He tasked members of the committee to think out of the box in order to come up with strategies to make FERMA perform optimally.