The Chairman of Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has expressed satisfaction with the Agency’s intervention maintenance on all federal roads in the country.
Sen. Gershom Bassey gave the recommendation when he led members of the committee on an oversight visit to the headquarters of the agency in Abuja to ascertain how the Agency utilized the money allocated to it on road maintenance.
Managing Director of the Agency, Nuruddeen Rafindadi, told journalists shortly after the visit that the organization requires N125 billion annually to carry out maintenance on all federal roads in the country.
He added that despite the meager release of funds to the agency, it was able to intervene in about 5, 000 kilometers of federal roads in 2019.
Engr. Rafindadi, while responding to questions on the 2020 capital budget, said the agency was allocated N36 billion to carry out its work this year.
“Ideally, we would require N125 billion every year to maintain all the federal roads as much as we would want to maintain them and I think that if you consider the asset value of roads and bridges across the country, that is a modest sum to try to preserve the value of your ass”. Rafindadi said.
“Poor funding has affected our performance negatively in the sense that we are not in the best position to do what we would have wanted to do; to tackle the situation of the roads. We emphasize always on trying to make use of best available funds to show what more money can do, achieve the maximum value for money.” He added.
He however, appreciated the National Assembly for supporting the Agency to effectively carry out its mandate.
“We have been speaking with them regarding more consideration on budget appropriation to FERMA, on the amount of releases to FERMA every year just so that we can improve on the huge backlog of federal roads across the country that needs urgent attention all the time.
Presently the Federal Road Maintenance Agency has a target to intervene in a total of 3, 500 kilometers of federal roads which were later increased by the Federal Government mandate on to 5, 000 kilometers of federal roads.
Between July and December we were able to meet that target and that has been presented and stated by the Minister of Works and Housing at the Federal Executive Council meeting and the ministerial report back mandate.” Fafindadi said.