Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), in Kebbi State, has engaged over 800 unemployed youths in the Vegetation and Silt Control programme as part of measures to maintain roads, control erosion and reduce road crashes in the state.
The state’s coordinator of the agency, Malam Rilwanu Usman, stated this in Birnin-Kebbi, on Wednesday, noted that most of the cleared vegetation areas were hitherto hideouts of criminals.
Said he, “We learnt that the vegetation and silt needed to be controlled in view of the harmful and devastating effects they had been causing to roads and motorists plying our roads in the state.
“Outgrowth of vegetation serves as hideout for armed robbers and also obstruct site distance by motorists hence we engaged the youth as part of our effort to reduce rate of accident, avoid vehicles damage and increase life span of roads and reduce unemployment and idleness,” he said.
Usman also explained that the youths were engaged in collaboration with the district heads to assist in clearing the vegetation and distilling of waterways to the tune of about 100 kilometers in Koko/Besse Local Government Area.
He added that the agency was also carrying out maintenance, total repairs and work in Birnin-Kebbi, Argungu and Sokoto State border roads.
He continued, “The road is 82 kilometres length; it had been pervaded by the hydrological structures problem.
” It was rehabilitated, six years ago, by the state government on behalf of the Federal Government but before the commencement of work, it had been on bad state ever since that rehabilitation,” he said.
The FERMA coordinator also said the agency had repaired wash-out roads in Kanfani town, Gotomo, Gangarin-Yantifa and potholes in Zauro, all along Birnin Kebbi and Argungu road.
He expressed optimism that the intervention would be sustained by the new management of FERMA with vigor and commitment in order to achieve hitch- and potholes free roads in the state.