From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
Moved by the poor condition of federal roads in Ekiti State, the State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has called on the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to as a matter of urgency, classify the roads as an emergency situation and make concerted efforts to fix them without further delay.
Oyebanji made the plea when he paid a working visit to the Managing Director/ CEO of FERMA, Engr. Nurudeen Rafindadi, at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
He also made a similar plea when he met the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) alongside some members of the National Assembly from Ekiti State during a separate meeting late on Wednesday.
Oyebanji said Ekiti people are eager to see the federal roads become motorable just as the Yuletide season approaches.
The governor stated that Ekiti roads were among the best in the country until early this year when an unprecedented huge number of heavy trucks started plying the roads as alternative routes to Abuja, South East and parts of the North.
He said the huge number of articulated vehicles plying the roads caused untold damage to Ekiti roads, making it difficult to access the state.
Stressing the importance of good roads to safety and economic development, Governor Oyebanji urged the agency to prioritise Ekiti roads, as the state is already cut off from other parts of the country.
“I urge you to classify Ekiti roads under the emergency category.
“We need access so that investors will come. Please come to our aid. As it is now, we are cut off,” the governor said.
Responding, the FEEMA Boss, Engr. Rafindadi said the agency had no excuse for not fixing Ekiti roads, in view of its economic advantage to the country as well as the fact it would constitute an embarrassment to the agency.
Although the FERMA Boss cited finance as a major issue affecting its operation, he, however, said Ekiti roads would be accorded top priority so as to enhance safety and economic growth as demanded by the governor.
Meanwhile, Governor Oyebanji on Wednesday met with the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) at his Abuja Office to further the discussion on Ekiti roads.
Two members of the National Assembly from Ekiti State, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and Honourable Femi Bamisile, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on FERMA, joined the Governor for the meeting.
As he did at the meeting with FERMA Managing director, Governor Oyebanji also sought the intervention of the minister for urgent attention to federal roads in Ekiti State.
The minister gave assurances that urgent steps would be taken to fix the affected roads.