From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Nurudeen Rafindadi, has said funding is limiting the agency’s activities.
Rafindadi who was appointed in September 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari, in his maiden press briefing in Abuja, said upon assumption of office, he found FERMA as an organisation that has had a long history of road maintenance.
Rafindadi further said but currently, the agency has not been doing many activities because of the challenges it had in the last one or two years, chief among the challenges being funding.
Rafindadi added that he immediately compiled a repair and maintenance nine-month work plan, which include a quick intervention programme.
Rafindadi also said following the situation he met on ground, he had to immediately swing into action to find a way out of the situation.
“When I resumed, I found FERMA as an organisation that has had a long history of road maintenance, but currently, has not been doing much activities because we met challenges in the last one year or two years, chief among these challenges of course, is the funding situation.
“And so, I saw my duty as that of trying to immediately swing into action both engaging the internal mechanism of FERMA and key stakeholders.
“One of my first engagements was to attend a scheduled management retreat of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing early in October and that gave me an opportunity to meet all the key names in the ministry, not only Works, but also all agencies and departments in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
“And since then, I have built on interacting with the headquarters of the ministry itself and at the same time, reviewing and getting briefs from key actors in FERMA on its activities as at the time I took over,” Rafindadi said.
He added that in order to ensure improvement in the activities of FERMA, he has had extensive interaction with the management of FERMA, other related ministries and agencies, key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Finance, the National Assembly Committees on FERMA, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the presidency.
“I have also engaged in some visitation to a number of zones across the country just to, in the first instance, familiarise myself with conditions of roads and with the towns and descriptions,” Rafindadi added.
Rafindadi also explained that in the course of his interactive tour, he had the opportunity to meet all the field officers (Federal Roads Maintenance Engineers) in every state of the federation, including zonal coordinators.
“At the same time, we (the management team) here, in communication with all the officers across the states, undertook an exercise of compiling all critically damaged sections of federal highway network in every state.