Reps fault Fashola’s ‘no-refund’ directive on FG roads rehabilitation by states
The Chairman of the house of representatives committee on Federal Road Mentainace Agency (FERMA), Rep. Olufemi Bamisile on Wednesday disclose that he was disturbed by a statement credited to the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola saying that federal government will not refund money spent by state governors to repair federal roads traversing such state.
He stated this during the committee’s inugural meeting held in Abuja.
According to the chairman, the minister has indirectly told state governors not to repair federal roads in their states.
He said, “the question is simple , does it mean that Nigeria’s would not get any value for the various taxes they pay? Does it mean that Nigerians will continue to be exposed to dangers associated with our roads littered with gullies and potholes? The questions are endless and this committee must address this issue so that we can five 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.
Speaking further on funds, Bamisile called on the committee members to think out of the box in order to assist FERMA access over 64 billion naira meant to come from a percentage of petroleum product sale.
“I read a report recently in the media where the MD of FERMA lamented the inability of the agency to access over 64billion naira meant to come from a percentage of petroleum products sale. I learnt that as you drive into any filling station to fuel your car, there is a certain percentage that foes into a fund dedicated for road maintenance” .
He, therefore, called on all members of the committee to put in their best to work towards fixing bad roads across the country.